Year: 2019 Source: Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. (2019).49(5), 1473-1487. SIEC No: 20190791

This study examined trends and correlates of reported post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among young male Veteran suicide decedents, using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System from 2005–2014 on 1,362 male U.S. Veteran suicide decedents aged 18–34 years.
Prevalence of reported PTSD (i.e., diagnosis/symptoms) was determined by mental health diagnostic fields and narratives and examined by year. Demographic, incident, and precipitating circumstance characteristics correlated with reported PTSD were identified.
One‐hundred ninety‐eight (15%) decedents had PTSD evidence. A 30‐fold increase in reported PTSD prevalence occurred among decedents aged 25–34 years; however, no increase was observed among younger decedents. Reported PTSD was associated with past deployments (odds ratio (OR): 14.5, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 9.0–23.4); depression (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.2–2.6); and divorce (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0–2.7). Recent crisis (OR: 0.6, 95% CI: 0.3–0.9) was inversely associated with reported PTSD.
Reported PTSD prevalence substantially increased among Veteran suicide decedents aged 25–34 years suggesting it is beginning to play a larger role in suicide for this group. Few correlated suicide risk factors were found, suggesting that if symptoms of PTSD are present, heightened vigilance by providers for suicide risk might be warranted, irrespective of evidence of other risk factors.