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Arch Hellen Med, 29(6), November-December 2012, 702-709


Morbidity and working day loss of 122 professional soldiers in the Greek Army during a 6 year period

A. Michalinos,1,2 I. Kostakis,1 I. Arampatzis,1 T. Troupis2
196th National Guard Squadron, Chios,
2Department of Anatomy, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE To study the epidemiology of diseases in the Greek Army and the related factors and cost.

METHOD The health cards of 122 regular army personnel with a rank between corporal and staff sergeant were reviewed for a 6 year period, January 2006–January 2012. The disease and the relevant administrative measures were recorded for each episode of illness. The frequency of various diseases and the cost to the service was correlated with the age and years of service of the soldiers. The international literature was reviewed and comparison was made with the findings of similar studies.

RESULTS Orthopedic problems comprised the commonest cause of illness (27%), followed by otolaryngological diseases (20%). Specifically, the commonest causes of loss of working days were upper respiratory tract infection, with an average of 3 days per episode, viral gastroenteritis with 2 days/episode, lumbar pain with 7 days/episode and dental problems with 4 days/episode. No correlation was found between illness and age or years of service. These findings were similar to those documented in the international literature.

CONCLUSIONS The commonest diseases among regular army personnel could be easily prevented by simple strategies of prevention and advice. Coordinated preventive strategy could reduce a substantial part of morbidity costs in the army. The international literature documents deficiencies in data collection and analysis which are reflected in the epidemiological picture. Surveillance data concerning military morbidity are necessary for military readiness and achievement of fighting level among army personnel.

Key words: Day loss/persons, Greek Army, Morbidity, Working day loss.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine