Table 1

Participant characteristics

Unmatched cohortAge- and sex-matched cohortCarefully matched cohort
Deployed veteransNon-deployed comparatorsDeployed veteransNon-deployed comparatorsDeployed veteransNon-deployed comparators
n21 7211 860 69021 628108 14021 627 107 284
 Men21 033 (97%)1 845 270 (99%)20 953 (97%)104 765 (97%)21 005 (97%)104 744 (98%)
 Women688 (3.2%)15 420 (0.8%)675 (3.1%)3375 (3.1%)622 (2.9%)2540 (2.4%)
At conscription
 Age (years)18.2 (0.6)18.4 (0.9)18.2 (0.6)18.2 (0.5)18.2 (0.6)18.2 (0.5)
 Height (cm)180 (7)179 (7)180 (7)179 (7)180 (7)180 (7)
 Weight (kg)72.1 (10.4)70.5 (11.1)72.1 (10.4)*71.0 (11.4)72.1 (10.4)72.1 (10.4)
 BMI (kg/m2)22.3 (2.8)21.9 (3.1)22.3 (2.8)22.1 (3.1)22.3 (2.8)22.3 (2.8)
 Systolic blood pressure, mm Hg130 (11)129 (11)130 (11)129 (11)130 (11)129 (11)
 Diastolic blood pressure, mm Hg67 (10)68 (10)67 (10)67 (10)67 (10)67 (10)
Cognitive ability
 Mean (SD)5.7 (1.6)4.9 (2.1)5.7 (1.6)*4.9 (2.1)5.7 (1.6)5.7 (1.6)
 Median (p25–p75)6 (5–7)5 (4–6)6 (5–7)5 (4–6)6 (5–7)6 (5–7)
Psychological assessment
 Mean (SD)6.3 (1.4)5.1 (1.7)6.3 (1.4)*5.1 (1.7)6.3 (1.4)6.3 (1.4)
 Median (p25–p75)6 (5–7)5 (4–6)6 (5–7)5 (4–6)6 (5–7)6 (5–7)
Exercise capacity (Watt)
 Mean (SD)305 (62)251 (96)305 (62)*284 (67)305 (62)304 (60)
 Median (p25–p75)310 (272–341)264 (227–310)310 (272–342)288 (250–330)310 (272–342)308 (270–340)
 History of mental health problems191 (0.9%)105 939 (5.7%)191 (0.9%)*4632 (4.3%)182 (0.8%)849 (0.8%)
Predeployment (or matching)
 Age (Years)27 (6)27 (6)27 (6)27 (6)27 (6)
 Self-harm119 (0.6%)n/a119 (0.6%)718 (0.7%)119 (0.6%)486 (0.5%)
 Psychiatric diagnosis496 (2.3%)n/a487 (2.3%)*5648 (5.2%)487 (2.3%)*3130 (2.9%)
  • Data are mean (SD) for continuous variables and n (%) for categorical variables; all individuals in the matched cohorts were required to have gone through military conscription testing but were not required to have completed military training.

  • *p<0.001 for comparison with the non-deployed age- and sex-matched comparators or non-deployed carefully matched comparators.

  • BMI, body mass index; n/a, not applicable.