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The Military Health System (MHS) is an interconnected network of Service Members whose mission is to support the lives and families of those who support our country. Everyday in the MHS advancements are made in the lab, in the field, and here at home. These are just a few articles highlighting those accomplishments that don't always make it to the front page of local papers.

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Cardiovascular Disease-related Medical Evacuations, Active and Reserve Components, U.S. Armed Forces, 1 October 2001–31 December 2017

Article
1/1/2019

From 1 October 2001 through 31 December 2017, a total of 697 medical evacuations of service members from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility were followed by at least one medical encounter in a fixed medical facility outside the operational theater with a diagnosis of a cardiovascular disease (CVD). The vast majority of those (n=660; 94.7%) evacuated were males. More than a third of CVD-related evacuations (n=278, 39.9%) occurred in service members 45 years of age or older; slightly more than half (n=369; 52.9%) occurred in reserve or guard members. The most common CVD risk factors which had been diagnosed among evacuated service members prior to their deployment were hypertension (n=236; 33.9%) and hyperlipidemia (n=241; 34.9%). Much lower percentages had been previously diagnosed with obesity (n=74, 10.6%) or diabetes (n=21, 3.0%). More than 1 in 4 service members with a CVD-related medical evacuation had been diagnosed with more than one risk factor (n=182, 26.1%). Both limitations to the data available and strategies to reduce CVD morbidity in theater are discussed.31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Acute Flaccid Myelitis: Case Report

Article
1/1/2019

In August 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted an increased number of reports of patients in the U.S. having symptoms clinically compatible with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). AFM is characterized by rapid onset of flaccid weakness in one or more limbs and distinct abnormalities of the spinal cord gray matter on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Clinical and laboratory data suggest that AFM is associated with an antecedent viral infection. AFM may be difficult to differentiate from other causes of paralysis and, given that it is rare, has the potential to be overlooked. This case highlights important clinical characteristics of AFM and emphasizes the importance of including AFM in the differential diagnosis when evaluating active duty service members and Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries presenting with paralysis.31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Historical Perspective: Leptospirosis Outbreaks Affecting Military Forces

Article
1/1/2019

Leptospirosis is a widespread and highly prevalent bacterial zoonotic disease that is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. It is transmitted to humans primarily through contact of abraded skin or mucous membranes with water or wet soil that has been contaminated with infected animal urine. Many wild and domestic animals are susceptible to infection by pathogenic Leptospira bacteria including rats, dogs, cattle, goats, sheep, and swine. Once chronically infected, a carrier animal can shed Leptospira bacteria in urine for long periods of time and Leptospira bacteria can survive in water or soil for weeks to months.higher among non-Hispanic white service members compared with those in other race/ethnicity groups. In both sexes, the annual rates of adrenal insufficiency and other disorders of adrenal gland increased slightly during the 16-year period.31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2000–2017

Article
1/1/2019

During 2002–2017, the most common incident adrenal gland disorder among male and female service members was adrenal insufficiency and the least common was adrenomedullary hyperfunction. Adrenal insufficiency was diagnosed among 267 females (crude overall incidence rate: 8.2 cases per 100,000 person-years [p-yrs]) and 729 males (3.9 per 100,000 p-yrs). In both sexes, overall rates of other disorders of adrenal gland and Cushing’s syndrome were lower than for adrenal insufficiency but higher than for hyperaldosteronism, adrenogenital disorders, and adrenomedullary hyperfunction. Crude overall rates of adrenal gland disorders among females tended to be higher than those of males, with female:male rate ratios ranging from 2.1 for adrenal insufficiency to 5.5 for androgenital disorders and Cushing’s syndrome. The highest overall rates of adrenal insufficiency for males and females were among non-Hispanic white service members. Among females, rates of Cushing’s syndrome and other disorders of adrenal gland were 31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Adrenal Gland Disorders, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002–2017

Article
12/1/2018

During 2002–2017, the most common incident adrenal gland disorder among male and female service members was adrenal insufficiency and the least common was adrenomedullary hyperfunction. Adrenal insufficiency was diagnosed among 267 females (crude overall incidence rate: 8.2 cases per 100,000 person-years [p-yrs]) and 729 males (3.9 per 100,000 p-yrs). In both sexes, overall rates of other disorders of adrenal gland and Cushing’s syndrome were lower than for adrenal insufficiency but higher than for hyperaldosteronism, adrenogenital disorders, and adrenomedullary hyperfunction. Crude overall rates of adrenal gland disorders among females tended to be higher than those of males, with female:male rate ratios ranging from 2.1 for adrenal insufficiency to 5.5 for androgenital disorders and Cushing’s syndrome. The highest overall rates of adrenal insufficiency for males and females were among non-Hispanic white service members. Among females, rates of Cushing’s syndrome and other disorders of adrenal gland were 31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Incidence and Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome Using ICD-9 and ICD-10 Diagnostic Codes, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002–2017

Article
12/1/2018

This report uses ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes (277.7 and E88.81, respectively) for the metabolic syndrome (MetS) to summarize trends in the incidence and prevalence of this condition among active component members of the U.S. Armed Forces between 2002 and 2017. During this period, the crude overall incidence rate of MetS was 7.5 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs). Compared to their respective counterparts, overall incidence rates were highest among Asian/Pacific Islanders, Air Force members, and warrant officers and were lowest among those of other/unknown race/ethnicity, Marine Corps members, and junior enlisted personnel and officers. During 2002–2017, the annual incidence rates of MetS peaked in 2009 at 11.6 cases per 100,000 p-yrs and decreased to 5.9 cases per 100,000 p-yrs in 2017. Annual prevalence rates of MetS increased steadily during the first 11 years of the surveillance period reaching a high of 38.9 per 100,000 active component service members in 2012, after which rates declined slightly to 31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Thyroid Disorders, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008–2017

Article
12/1/2018

This analysis describes the incidence and prevalence of five thyroid disorders (goiter, thyrotoxicosis, primary/not otherwise specified [NOS] hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, and other disorders of the thyroid) among active component service members between 2008 and 2017. During the 10-year surveillance period, the most common incident thyroid disorder among male and female service members was primary/NOS hypothyroidism and the least common were thyroiditis and other disorders of thyroid. Primary/NOS hypothyroidism was diagnosed among 8,641 females (incidence rate: 43.7 per 10,000 person-years [p-yrs]) and 11,656 males (incidence rate: 10.2 per 10,000 p-yrs). Overall incidence rates of all thyroid disorders were 3 to 5 times higher among females compared to males. Among both males and females, incidence of primary/NOS hypothyroidism was higher among non-Hispanic white service members compared with service members in other race/ethnicity groups. The incidence of most thyroid disorders remained stable or decreased during the surveillance period. Overall, the prevalence of most thyroid disorders increased during the first part of the surveillance period and then either decreased or leveled off.31.6 per 100,000 active component service members in 2017. Validation of ICD-9/ICD-10 diagnostic codes for MetS using the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria is needed to establish the level of agreement between the two methods for identifying this condition.

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Increased Number of Possible Rabies Exposures Among U.S. Healthcare Beneficiaries Treated in Military Clinics in Southern Germany in 2016

Article
11/19/2018

In 2016, the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Bavaria recorded 108 possible rabies exposures, a 112% increase from the previous year. Of these, 49 (45%) occurred during prior deployments to Egypt and Eastern Europe in which they had not received timely rabies post-exposure prophylaxis.

Cluster of Vivax Malaria in U.S. Soldiers Training Near the Demilitarized Zone, Republic of Korea During 2015

Article
11/19/2018

This report describes a cluster of 11 soldiers with vivax malaria among U.S. military personnel who trained at Dagmar North training area, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ), in the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 2015. Two cases were diagnosed in the ROK in 2015, one of whom subsequently experienced a relapse, and nine other cases were diagnosed in 2016, 8–11 months after the soldiers had returned to the U.S. Vivax malaria poses a health threat to U.S. Forces Korea operating near the DMZ in the ROK. Continuing and enhanced focus on force health protection measures in endemic zones is warranted.

Update: Cold Weather Injuries, Active and Reserve Components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2013–June 2018

Article
11/19/2018

This report describes a cluster of 11 soldiers with vivax malaria among U.S. military personnel who trained at Dagmar North training area, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ), in the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 2015. Two cases were diagnosed in the ROK in 2015, one of whom subsequently experienced a relapse, and nine other cases were diagnosed in 2016, 8–11 months after the soldiers had returned to the U.S. Vivax malaria poses a health threat to U.S. Forces Korea operating near the DMZ in the ROK. Continuing and enhanced focus on force health protection measures in endemic zones is warranted.

Malaria in the Korean Peninsula: Risk Factors, Latent Infections, and the Possible Role of Tafenoquine, a New Antimalarial Weapon

Article
11/19/2018

For decades, malaria infections acquired in Korea have posed a significant threat to both Korean military and civilians and to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) personnel. In Korea, malaria infections are caused exclusively by the species Plasmodium vivax (PV). Despite the use of chloroquine chemoprophylaxis during the Korean War (1950–1953), thousands of cases of PV malaria were diagnosed in Korea among U.S. military personnel.1 As troops returned home, however, many more cases were diagnosed stateside, inundating military hospitals and leading to research on the use of primaquine to treat what were termed “late attacks of Plasmodium vivax of Korean origin”.

Premier scientific symposium showcases medical research and development

Article
8/20/2018
Dr. Terry Adirim, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Health Services Policy and Oversight, speaks at a plenary session at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium, Aug. 20, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Medical Innovation for Warfighter Readiness: The Future Starts Now.” (MHSRS photo)

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HRO Corner: Meet an Every Day MHS Infection Control Champion

Article
7/1/2018
Pfc. Logan Pickell, a licensed practical nurse on the Multi-Service Unit at Bassett Army Community Hospital, stands on the left inspecting inpatient equipment. He conducts an environmental cleaning tracer with Rebekah Lail, the infection prevention manager, who stands on the right making notes on a clipboard.

Consistent application of infection prevention measures is helping Bassett Army Community Hospital in Alaska keep infections at bay.

Five tips for protecting your skin from the sun

Article
6/18/2018
You have many options for protecting your skin while outdoors in the sun, including protecting your eyes and the skin around your eyes by wearing sunglasses. (U.S. Air Force file photo)

You have many options for protecting your skin while outdoors in the sun

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Summer Safety

Vietnam Vascular Registry helps veteran reunite with doctors

Article
3/13/2018
The Vietnam Vascular Registry, developed by Dr. Norman Rich at Walter Reed General Hospital, documented and analyzed blood vessel injuries in Vietnam. Each patient entered into the registry was assigned a consecutive number and given a vascular registry card, such as this one. (Courtesy photo by Dr. Norm Rich)

The Vietnam Vascular Registry, developed by Dr. Norman Rich at Walter Reed General Hospital, documented and analyzed blood vessel injuries in Vietnam

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