Date of Conferral
Diana D. Naser
Few studies about elevated blood pressure in the U.S. military exist in which researchers examined exposure to combat and its association with elevated blood pressure. The purpose of this quantitative research was to describe the extent of association between those who were exposed to combat deployment, were 40 or older, and were overweight or obese and had elevated blood pressure for U.S. military personnel who deployed to an area of declared combat between 2012 and 2017. The conceptual basis of this research was best represented by the determinants of health model. Chi-square correlation revealed that being older (equal to or greater than 40 years; p = .018) and being overweight/obese (body mass index [BMI] equal to or greater than 25; p = .000) both have statistically significant relationships with elevated blood pressure (either systolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 120 mm/hg or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 80 mm/hg) among military personnel, while combat deployment does not (deployment > 30 days; p =. 487). However, only being overweight/obese remained significant even when controlling for exposure to combat deployment and being older. Binary logistic regression revealed that elevated blood pressure/hypertension is greater than three times more likely to occur in the presence of the overweight/obese predictor (BMI equal to or greater than 25; p =. 000) variable. The findings of this research could be used to proactively enforce medically derived appropriate medical fitness standards such as maintenance of normal BMI during deployments. Social adaptations could be instrumental in improving wellness among deployed military personnel.