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Epidemiology and Analysis

Beneficiaries of Epidemiology and Analysis Surveillance Report from the U.S. military

The Epidemiology and Analysis (E&A) section performs comprehensive surveillance and analyses of health-related information among military service members and military-associated populations. The E&A section also provides oversight and direction to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) satellites located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Dayton, Ohio; and Portsmouth,Va. The satellites have direct interaction with the U.S. military services public health and epidemiology centers, and provide coordinated support and reports for AFHSB and the military services.

E&A leverages two major health surveillance tools maintained by AFHSB's Data Management and Technical Support section to help its staff of epidemiologists, preventive medicine physicians, and data analysts provide timely analyses and reports of actionable health information:

The use of these tools allows E&A to provide health surveillance products to DoD policymakers, military commanders, health care providers, public health officers, and researchers.

E&A's main lines of effort are:

Visual examples of DMSS Reports from the Epidemiology and Analysis Section  at AFHSB

Surveillance Data and DoDSR Serum Requests

The E&A section receives requests for DMSS data and DoDSR serum specimens from numerous DoD health surveillance professionals and researchers by email. These requests focus on ensuring the health of the U.S. military. To request data, please fill out this form. Each request is evaluated for factors such as military relevance, status as research versus public health practice, scientific integrity, and feasibility. Past requests have involved:

  • Tracking service members' health status before and after deployment
  • Communicable diseases
  • Chronic illness and injuries
  • Vaccination rates as well as vaccine effectiveness and safety
  • Sero-epidemiologic surveillance and research studies

To make a request for data, analysis or serum, the requester must meet certain criteria including:

  • A requester must be a military service member or government employee working for a U.S. military organization.
  • The study/ analysis must address a military-relevant topic.
  • The types of requests made to the AFHSB include: Operational Public Health Practice, Research Support, and Clinical Support.

Learn More About E&A

You also may be interested in...

Heat Illness

Infographic
4/13/2018
Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

There were a total of 2,163 incident cases of heat illness among active component service members, including 464 cases of heat stroke and 1,699 cases of heat exhaustion.

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Rhabdomyolysis

Infographic
4/13/2018
Rhabdomyolysis

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Hyponatremia

Infographic
4/13/2018
Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

Exertional, or exercise-associated, hyponatremia refers to a low serum, plasma, or blood sodium concentration (below 135 milliequivalents/liter) that develops during or up to 24 hours following prolonged physical activity.

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Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Mental Health Problems

Infographic
4/4/2018
This report summarizes the numbers, natures, and rates of incident mental health disorder diagnoses as well as mental health problems among active component U.S. service members during 2007–2016.

This report summarizes the numbers, natures, and rates of incident mental health disorder diagnoses as well as mental health problems among active component U.S. service members during 2007–2016.

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Cardiovascular Diseases

Infographic
4/4/2018
At the time of entry into military service, many members of the U.S. Armed Forces are young, physically active, and in good physical health. However, following entry, many service members develop or are discovered to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This report documents the incidence and prevalence of select risk factors for CVD among active component (AC) service members and provides estimates of the incidence rates of major categories of cardiovascular diseases themselves.

At the time of entry into military service, many members of the U.S. Armed Forces are young, physically active, and in good physical health. However, following entry, many service members develop or are discovered to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This report documents the incidence and prevalence of select risk factors for CVD ...

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Surveillance for Vector-Borne Diseases, Active and Reserve Component Service Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010 – 2016

Infographic
2/14/2018
Within the U.S. Armed Forces considerable effort has been applied to the prevention and treatment of vector-borne diseases. A key component of that effort has been the surveillance of vector-borne diseases to inform the steps needed to identify where and when threats exist and to evaluate the impact of preventive measures. This report summarizes available health records information about the occurrence of vector-borne infectious diseases among members of the U.S. Armed Forces, during a recent 7-year surveillance period. For the 7-surveillance period, there were 1,436 confirmed cases of vector-borne diseases, 536 possible cases, and 8,667 suspected cases among service members of the active and reserve components. •	“Confirmed” case = confirmed reportable medical event. •	“Possible” case = hospitalization with a diagnosis for a vector-borne disease. •	“Suspected” case = either a non-confirmed reportable medical event or an outpatient medical encounter with a diagnosis of a vector-borne disease. Lyme disease (n=721) and malaria (n=346) were the most common diagnoses among confirmed and possible cases. •	In 2015, the annual numbers of confirmed case of Lyme disease were the fewest reported during the surveillance period. •	Diagnoses of Chikungunya (CHIK) and Zika (ZIKV) were elevated in the years following their respective entries into the Western Hemisphere: CHIK (2014 and 2015); ZIKV (2016). The available data reinforce the need for continued emphasis on the multidisciplinary preventive measures necessary to counter the ever-present threat of vector-borne disease. Access the full report in the February 2018 MSMR (Vol. 25, No. 2). Go to www.Health.mil/MSMR  Background graphic shows service member in the field and insects which spread vector borne diseases.

This infographic summarizes available health records information about the occurrence of vector-borne infectious diseases among members of the U.S. Armed Forces, during a recent 7-year surveillance period (2010 – 2016).

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Malaria U.S. Armed Forces, 2017

Infographic
2/14/2018
Since 1999, the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) has published periodic updates on the incidence of malaria among U.S. service members. Malaria infection remains an important health threat to U.S. service members, who are located in endemic areas because of long-term duty assignments, participation in shorter-term contingency operations, or personal travel. This update for 2017 describes the epidemiologic patterns of malaria incidence in active and reserve component service members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Findings •	A total of 32 service members were diagnosed with or reported to have malaria, which is the lowest number of cases in any given year during the 10-year surveillance period. •	Health records documented the performance of laboratory tests for malaria for 22 of the cases. The tests for 17 of the 22 were positive for malaria ( stick figure graphic visually depicts this information). •	In 2017, 75.0% (24 of 32) of malaria cases among U.S. service members were diagnosed during May – October (calendar graphic showing the months visually). •	Of the 32 malaria cases in 2017, more than 1/3 of the infections were considered to have been acquired in Africa. Two bar charts display the following information: •	Bar chart 1: Numbers of malaria cases by Plasmodium species and calendar year of diagnosis/report, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008 – 2017  •	Bar chart 2: Annual numbers of cases of malaria associated with specific locations of acquisition, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008 – 2017  The majority of U.S. military members diagnosed with malaria in 2017 were: •	Male (96.9%) •	Active component (81.3%) •	In the Army (75.0%) •	In their 20’s (56.3%) Access the full report in the February 2018 MSMR (Vol. 25 No. 2). Go to www.Health.mil/MSMR  Picture of a mosquito displays on the graphic.

This update for 2017 describes the epidemiologic patterns of malaria incidence in active and reserve component service members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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2016 marks first year of zero combat amputations since the start of the Afghan, Iraq wars

Article
3/28/2017
An analysis by the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report recently reported 2016 marks the first year without combat amputations since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. U.S. Armed Forces are at risk for traumatic amputations of limbs during combat deployments and other work hazards. (DoD photo)

An analysis by the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) recently reported 2016 marks the first year of zero combat amputations since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

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Cold injuries among active duty U.S. service members drop to lowest level since winter 2011–2012

Article
1/23/2017
U.S. service members often perform duties in cold weather climates where they may be exposed to frigid conditions and possible injury.

Cold injuries among active duty U.S. service members drop to the lowest level since winter 2011-2012, according to a study published in Defense Health Agency’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) peer-reviewed journal, the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report.

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Respiratory infections surveillance program aims to keep service members ready to serve

Article
11/16/2016
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bianca Raleigh, 31st Medical Operations Squadron, allergy and immunizations, administers a patient's shot, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson)

Respiratory infections pose a significant risk to service members and their families. The start of the flu season marks a busy period for the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch’s (AFHSB) respiratory infections surveillance program that conducts tests to identify influenza and other respiratory pathogens in an effort minimize their impact on the ...

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USU preventive medicine resident reflects on epidemiology rotation at AFHSB

Article
8/30/2016
Lieutenant-Commander Vincent Beswick-Escanlar, a recent graduate of the preventive medicine residency at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), presents a poster at its Research Days event.

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch is running a series featuring preventive medicine doctors and their work in public health. Lieutenant-Commander Vincent Beswick-Escanlar is a recent graduate of the preventive medicine residency at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). As part of the USU program, Beswick-Escanlar ...

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Preventive medicine helps shape surveillance efforts to keep service members healthy

Article
8/30/2016
Colonel Loveless discusses with staff medical surveillance analysis that helps maintain force health protection and readiness among service members (Courtesy Photo)

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch is running a series featuring preventive medicine doctors and their work in public health. Army Lieutenant Colonel P. Ann Loveless is the Chief of Satellite Support for AFHSB’s Epidemiology and Analysis section. She is a physician and holds a master’s degree in epidemiology. She reflects on how her ...

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AFHSB deputy director reflects on career in military medical surveillance

Article
8/16/2016
Dr. Jose "Toti" Sanchez, deputy director of AFHSB, delivers presentation at African Partner Outbreak Response Alliance sponsored by U.S. Africa Command in support of military medical surveillance. (Courtesy Photo)

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch is running a series featuring its preventive medicine doctors and how it influences their work. Dr. Jose Sanchez began his career in epidemiology and public health in 1980 as an Army public health officer. Known to his colleagues as “Toti,” Dr. Sanchez is now AFHSB’s Deputy Chief. He reflects on his past ...

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