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Combat Exposure and Migraine Headache: Evidence from Exogenous Deployment Assignment

Listed author(s):
  • Cesur, Resul

    ()

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Sabia, Joseph J.

    ()

    (San Diego State University)

  • Tekin, Erdal

    ()

    (American University)

Migraine headache is a growing problem for U.S. servicemen deployed in the Global War on Terrorism 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. Using data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we exploit 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. This relationship is robust to controls for pre-deployment migraine status and is largest for those serving in the Army in the post-9/11 period. We find that combat-induced sleep disorders, stress-related psychological problems, and physical injuries in combat explain 47 to 60 percent of the relationship between combat exposure and migraine headache.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6303.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6303.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Publication status: published in: Economics and Human Biology, 2014, [Online First]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6303
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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, 01.
  2. Angrist, Joshua D. & Chen, Stacey H. & Frandsen, Brigham R., 2010. "Did Vietnam veterans get sicker in the 1990s? The complicated effects of military service on self-reported health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 824-837, December.
  3. Daniel I. Rees & Joseph J. Sabia, 2011. "The Effect of Migraine Headache on Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 317-332.
  4. Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2013. "The psychological costs of war: Military combat and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-65.
  5. 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.
  6. Sabia, Joseph J. & Rees, Daniel I., 2011. "Individual heterogeneity and reverse causality in the relationship between migraine headache and educational attainment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 913-923, October.
  7. Jenny Berg, 2004. "Economic evidence in migraine and other headaches: a review," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 5(1), pages 43-54, October.
  8. David S. Lyle, 2006. "Using Military Deployments and Job Assignments to Estimate the Effect of Parental Absences and Household Relocations on Children's Academic Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 319-350, April.
  9. André Pradalier & Jean-Paul Auray & Abdelkader Hasnaoui & Kazem Alzahouri & Jean-François Dartigues & Gérard Duru & Patrick Henry & Michel Lantéri-Minet & Christian Lucas & Guy Chazot & Anne-François , 2004. "Economic Impact of Migraine and Other Episodic Headaches in France," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 22(15), pages 985-999, October.
  10. Barry T. Hirsch & Stephen L. Mehay, 2003. "Evaluating the Labor Market Performance of Veterans Using a Matched Comparison Group Design," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
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