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Combat exposure and migraine headache: Evidence from exogenous deployment assignment

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  • Cesur, Resul
  • Sabia, Joseph J.
  • Tekin, Erdal

Abstract

Migraine headache is a growing problem for U.S. servicemembers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and has been linked to substantial negative socioeconomic consequences. However, there has been no comprehensive examination of the relationship between combat exposure and migraine headache or its stress-related triggers. Analyzing data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we use exogenous variation in deployment assignment to estimate the effect of combat exposure on migraine headache. We find that those deployed to a combat zone with enemy firefight are at substantially increased risk for migraine headache relative to those deployed to non-combat zones outside the United States or to combat zones without enemy firefight. We find that combat-induced sleep disorders, stress-related psychological problems, and physical injuries in combat explain approximately 40–45 percent of the relationship between combat exposure and migraine headache.

Suggested Citation

  • Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2015. "Combat exposure and migraine headache: Evidence from exogenous deployment assignment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 81-99.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:16:y:2015:i:c:p:81-99
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2014.01.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carlos Dobkin & Reza Shabani, 2009. "The Health Effects Of Military Service: Evidence From The Vietnam Draft," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 69-80, January.
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    6. Engel, Rozlyn C. & Gallagher, Luke B. & Lyle, David S., 2010. "Military deployments and children's academic achievement: Evidence from Department of Defense Education Activity Schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-82, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2015. "How natural disasters can affect environmental concerns, risk aversion, and even politics: evidence from Fukushima and three European countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1137-1180, October.
    2. Resul Cesur & Alexander Chesney & Joseph J. Sabia, 2016. "Combat Exposure, Cigarette Consumption, And Substance Use," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1705-1726, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migraine headache; Combat exposure; Sleep disruption;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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