Does General Health Differ by Number of Health Conditions and Use of Special Equipment in Veterans Ages 35-64?
Purpose: About one third of veterans return to the Veterans Affairs (VA) from war with health issues. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between health conditions and use of special equipment with general, mental, and physical health of veterans ages 35-64 in the general population. Method: This cross-sectional analysis utilized data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFFS) for veterans ages 35-64, from Florida, Maryland, New York, Texas and Washington. Ordered logistic regression analysis by state and outcome was used to determine the relationship between general, physical, and mental health by number of health conditions and activity limitations after controlling for demographic factors and substance use. Results: A low proportion of veterans reported poor/fair general health, low physical health, and low mental health. Additionally, about one-third reported having 1 or more health conditions, and a low proportion reported medical conditions that required special equipment. Adjusted statistics showed that across states, general health, physical health, and mental health were all significantly related to number of health conditions and use of special equipment after controlling for all other variables in the model. Conclusion: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between health conditions and use of special equipment with general, physical, and mental health of veterans ages 35-64 in the general population. The results may generalize to veterans ages 35-64 in primary care settings. A low proportion of veterans may have poor or fair general health, low physical health, or low mental health, which were all moderately to highly related to number of health conditions and use of special equipment. If veterans present with one, they should be screened for all and treated concurrently.