Suicide attempts in the US Army have risen in the past decade. Understanding the association between suicide attempts and deployment, as well as method and timing of suicide attempts, can assist in developing interventions. Objective To examine suicide attempt risk factors, methods, and timing among soldiers currently deployed, previously deployed, and never deployed at the time this study was conducted. Design, Setting, and Participants This longitudinal, retrospective cohort study of Regular ArmyÐenlisted soldiers on active duty from 2004 through 2009 used individual-level person-month records to examine risk factors (sociodemographic, service related, and mental health), method, and time of suicide attempt by deployment status (never, currently, and previously deployed). Administrative data for the month before each of 9650 incident suicide attempts and an equal-probability sample of 153 528 control person-months for other soldiers were analyzed using a discrete-time survival framework. Main Outcomes and Measures Suicide attempts and career, mental health, and demographic predictors were obtained from administrative and medical records. Conclusions and Relevance Identifying the timing and risk factors for suicide attempt in soldiers requires consideration of environmental context, individual characteristics, and mental health. These factors can inform prevention efforts.
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