Publications by authors named "Claire A Kolaja"

5 Publications

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Longitudinal associations of military-related factors on self-reported sleep among U.S. service members.

Sleep 2021 Jul 3. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Sleep, Tactical Efficiency, and Endurance Laboratory, Warfighter Performance Department, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA.

Study Objectives: Sleep loss is common in the military, which can negatively affect health and readiness; however, it is largely unknown how sleep varies over a military career. This study sought to examine the relationships between military-related factors and the new onset and reoccurrence of short sleep duration and insomnia symptoms.

Methods: Millennium Cohort Study data were used to track U.S. military service members over time to examine longitudinal changes in sleep. Outcomes were self-reported average sleep duration (categorized as ≤5 hours, 6 hours, or 7-9 hours [recommended]) and/or insomnia symptoms (having trouble falling or staying asleep). Associations between military-related factors and the new onset and reoccurrence of these sleep characteristics were determined, after controlling for multiple health and behavioral factors.

Results: Military-related factors consistently associated with an increased risk for new onset and/or reoccurrence of short sleep duration and insomnia symptoms included active duty component, Army or Marine Corps service, combat deployment, and longer than average deployment lengths. Military officers and noncombat deployers had decreased risk for either sleep characteristic. Time-in-service and separation from the military were complex factors; they lowered risk for ≤5 hours sleep but increased risk for insomnia symptoms.

Conclusions: Various military-related factors contribute to risk of short sleep duration and/or insomnia symptoms over time, although some factors affect these sleep characteristics differently. Also, even when these sleep characteristics remit, some military personnel have an increased risk of reoccurrence. Efforts to improve sleep prioritization and implement interventions targeting at-risk military populations, behaviors, and other significant factors are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsab168DOI Listing
July 2021

Sexual health difficulties among service women: the influence of posttraumatic stress disorder.

J Affect Disord 2021 Sep 5;292:678-686. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Leidos, San Diego, CA, USA; Deployment Health Research Department, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA.

Background Sexual health among service women remains understudied, yet is related to health and quality of life. This study examined if the associations between recent combat and sexual assault with sexual health difficulties were mediated by mental disorders and identified factors associated with sexual health difficulties among service women. Methods Data from two time points (2013 and 2016) of the Millennium Cohort Study, a large military cohort, were used. The outcome was self-reported sexual health difficulties. Mediation analyses examined probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) as intermediate variables between recent combat and sexual assault with the sexual health difficulties. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to examine the association of demographic, military, historical mental health, life stressors, and physical health factors with sexual health difficulties. Results Of the 6,524 service women, 13.5% endorsed experiencing sexual health difficulties. Recent combat and sexual assault were significantly associated with sexual health difficulties. Probable PTSD mediated the associations of recent combat and sexual assault with sexual health difficulties; probable MDD did not mediate these relationships. Other significant factors associated with sexual health difficulties included enlisted rank, historical mental disorders, childhood trauma, and disabling injury. Limitations Use of self-reported data, outcome not assessed using a standardized measure and future studies may benefit from examining other mediators. Conclusion Our findings that combat and sexual assault may have negative effects on service women's sexual health suggest that treatment options and insurance coverage for sexual health problems should be expanded.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.05.089DOI Listing
September 2021

Sexual Health Problems among Service Men: The Influence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

J Sex Res 2021 Jan 11:1-13. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Leidos, Reston, VA, USA.

Military operational stressors, such as combat exposure, may increase the risk of sexual health problems. This study examined factors associated with sexual health problems, and tested the mediating effect of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the association between stressors (i.e., combat deployment and sexual assault) and sexual health problems among U.S. service men. Using multivariable logistic regression ( = 16,603) and Cox proportional hazards models ( = 15,330), we estimated the risk of self-reported sexual health difficulties and sexual dysfunction medical encounters, respectively. Mediation analyses examined the effect of probable PTSD as an intermediate factor between high combat deployment and sexual assault on sexual health problems. Approximately 9% endorsed sexual health difficulties and 8% had a sexual dysfunction. Risk factors for these sexual health problems included older age, lower education level, enlisted rank, disabling injury, certain medical conditions, and higher body mass index. Probable PTSD significantly mediated the associations between high combat with sexual health problems and sexual assault with sexual dysfunction. Additionally, high combat was directly associated with sexual health difficulties. These findings indicate a relationship between these stressors and sexual health problems which suggests that treatment options should be expanded, especially to include psychogenic sexual dysfunctions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2020.1855622DOI Listing
January 2021

Multiple imputation validation study: addressing unmeasured survey data in a longitudinal design.

BMC Med Res Methodol 2021 01 6;21(1). Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Deployment Health Research Department, Naval Health Research Center, 140 Sylvester Road, San Diego, CA, 92106, USA.

Background: Questionnaires used in longitudinal studies may have questions added or removed over time for numerous reasons. Data missing completely at a follow-up survey is a unique issue for longitudinal studies. While such excluded questions lack information at one follow-up survey, they are collected at other follow-up surveys, and covariances observed at other follow-up surveys may allow for the recovery of the missing data. This study utilized data from a large longitudinal cohort study to assess the efficiency and feasibility of using multiple imputation (MI) to recover this type of information.

Methods: Millennium Cohort Study participants completed the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) depression module at 2 time points (2004, 2007). The suicidal ideation item in the module was set to missing for the 2007 assessment. Several single-level MI models using different sets of predictors and forms of suicidal ideation were used to compare self-reported values and imputed values for this item in 2007. Additionally, associations with sleep duration and smoking status, which are related constructs, were compared between self-reported and imputed values of suicidal ideation.

Results: Among 63,028 participants eligible for imputation analysis, 4.05% reported suicidal ideation on the 2007 survey. The imputation models successfully identified suicidal ideation, with a sensitivity ranging between 34 and 66% and a positive predictive value between 36 and 42%. Specificity remained above 96% and negative predictive value above 97% for all imputed models. Similar associations were found for all imputation models on related constructs, though the dichotomous suicidal ideation imputed from the model using only PHQ depression items yielded estimates that were closest with the self-reported associations for all adjusted analyses.

Conclusions: Although sensitivity and positive predictive value were relatively low, applying MI techniques allowed for inclusion of an otherwise missing variable. Additionally, correlations with related constructs were estimated near self-reported values. Therefore, the other 8 depression items can be used to estimate suicidal ideation that was completely missing from a survey using MI. However, these imputed values should not be used to estimate population prevalence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12874-020-01158-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7789687PMC
January 2021

Hypertension in military veterans is associated with combat exposure and combat injury.

J Hypertens 2020 07;38(7):1293-1301

Leidos.

Background: Although the long-term effects of combat injury are not well understood, there is emerging concern that exposure to combat environments and subsequent injury may increase the risk of hypertension through changes in inflammatory responses, psychological stress and mental health, and health behaviors.

Methods: Data from the Millennium Cohort Study and the Department of Defense Trauma Registry were used to identify combat-exposed and combat-injured participants. Incident hypertension diagnoses were ascertained from the Millennium Cohort survey. The associations between combat exposure/injury and hypertension risk was estimated using multivariable complementary log-log survival models.

Results: The final analysis sample consisted of 38 734 participants. Of these, 50.8% deployed but were not exposed to combat, 48.6% deployed and were exposed to combat, and 0.6% had combat injury. Overall prevalence of hypertension was 7.6%. Compared with participants who deployed but did not experience combat (mild exposure), elevated odds of hypertension were observed among those who experienced combat but not wounded (moderate exposure; AOR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.19-1.38) and those wounded in combat (high exposure; AOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.07-2.00). Sleep duration of less than 4 h (AOR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.03-1.43), sleep duration of 4-6 h (AOR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.05-1.29), posttraumatic stress disorder (AOR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.26-1.87), and overweight (AOR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.61-1.95) and obese (AOR, 2.77; 95% CI, 2.45-3.12) status were also associated with higher odds of hypertension.

Conclusion: Results support the hypotheses that combat exposure increases hypertension risk and that combat injury exacerbates this risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002364DOI Listing
July 2020
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