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Sex, Age, Race/Ethnicity, Veteran Status, and the Likelihood of Reporting Cardiovascular Conditions in the National Health Interview Survey

Ramon Hinojosa
Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 2019, 34 (3): 215-221

BACKGROUND: This study explores the likelihood of reporting the presence of cardiovascular health conditions in the National Health Interview Survey, with a focus on the moderating effects of veteran status, race/ethnicity, age, sex, and functional status.

METHOD: Data from the 2012-2015 National Health Interview Survey examine 5 cardiovascular health conditions/risk factors (hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart conditions, stroke, and heart attack).

RESULTS: Age, sex, and functional status moderate the relationship between veteran status and cardiovascular conditions. Veterans who are younger (veteran × age) have a higher risk of reporting 1 cardiovascular condition compared with veterans who are older (relative risk [RR], 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99-0.99). Veterans with functional limitations (veteran × functional status) are at a lower risk of reporting 3 or more cardiovascular conditions compared with veterans with no functional limitations (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.56-0.95). Interaction variables in the model (veteran × sex) show that female veterans had a higher risk than did female non-veterans of reporting 3 or more cardiovascular conditions compared with male veterans versus male non-veterans (RR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.53-0.95). Race/ethnicity does not moderate the likelihood of reporting cardiovascular disease conditions in this sample.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that previous military service is linked to the reporting of cardiovascular disease conditions by using nationally representative data to examine the moderating effects of veteran status on the relationship between race/ethnicity, sex, functional status, and age and cardiovascular disease for veterans living in the general US population. The findings suggest a waning healthy soldier effect for the youngest American veterans and indicate that female veterans' cardiovascular health is at greatest risk.


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