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Military Health System

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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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Update: Malaria, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018

Article
2/1/2019
Anopheles merus

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. In 2018, a total of 58 service members were diagnosed with or reported to have malaria. This represents a 65.7% increase from the 35 cases identi­fied in 2017. The relatively low numbers of cases during 2012–2018 mainly reflect decreases in cases acquired in Afghanistan, a reduction due largely to the progressive withdrawal of U.S. forces from that country. The percentage of cases of malaria caused by unspecified agents (63.8%; n=37) in 2018 was the highest during any given year of the surveillance period. The percent­age of cases identified as having been caused by Plasmodium vivax (10.3%; n=6) in 2018 was the lowest observed during the 10-year surveillance period. The percentage of malaria cases attributed to P. falciparum (25.9 %) in 2018 was similar to that observed in 2017 (25.7%), although the number of cases increased. Malaria was diagnosed at or reported from 31 different medical facilities in the U.S., Afghanistan, Italy, Germany, Djibouti, and Korea. Pro­viders of medical care to military members should be knowledgeable of and vigilant for clinical manifestations of malaria outside of endemic areas.

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Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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

Article
12/1/2018
A U.S. naval officer listens through his stethoscope to hear his patient’s lungs at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan in 2018. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps) photo by Lance Cpl. Cameron Parks)

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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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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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

Increased Number of Possible Rabies Exposures Among U.S. Health Care 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”.

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.

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Last Updated: June 15, 2021
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