which there were findings of either an appreciably higher prevalence in some POW group or a noteworthy association with some military captivity factor. The prevalence data for these conditions were reanalyzed using logistic regression to determine the joint effects of weight loss and prison camp symptoms; POW group differences were also taken into account. For this analysis, prison camp symptoms were further refined into three separate measures—the presence of edema, the number of visual symptoms (such as night blindness), and the number of other symptoms—and considered along with percent weight loss.

The logistic regression analyses showed that edema was associated with a higher prevalence of ischemic heart disease and peripheral nerve disease; visual symptoms were associated with higher prevalences of cerebrovascular disease, ulcers, asthma, and posttraumatic stress disorder; and other symptoms were associated with higher prevalences of intermittent claudication, gastroenteritis, depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety. Percent weight loss was associated with a higher prevalence of intermittent claudication and arterial vascular disease and strongly associated with a lower prevalence of osteoarthritis. In most cases the odds ratios, which estimate the size of the increased prevalences, were between 1.0 and 2.0, indicating relatively moderate elevations in prevalence. It should also be noted, however, that the estimated effects of visual and other symptoms increased gradually with each additional reported symptom. Thus, the cumulative effect on the relative odds for POWs with a large number of symptoms could be quite substantial.

The effects on prevalence of POW group, per se, were mostly limited to PWK, but PWP showed an appreciably elevated prevalence of PTSD, compared with PWE. For PWK, again compared with PWE, there were noteworthy associations with a higher prevalence of ulcer, PTSD, schizophrenia, and generalized anxiety, and noteworthy associations with a lower prevalence of ischemic heart disease, arterial vascular disease, and asthma. These latter associations with lower prevalences appear to be related to age.

REFERENCES

Beebe GW. 1975. Follow-up studies of World War II and Korean war prisoners. II. Morbidity, disability, and maladjustments. Am. J. Epidemiol. 101:400–422.


Comstock GW, Helsing KJ. 1973. Characteristics of respondents and nonrespondents to a questionnaire for estimating community mood. Am. J. Epidemiol. 97:233–239.


Eberly RE, Engdahl BE. 1991. Prevalence of somatic and psychiatric disorders among former prisoners of war. Hosp. Commun. Psychiatry 42:807–813.


Page WF. 1988. A Report of the Longitudinal Follow-up of Former Prisoners of War of World War II and the Korean Conflict: Data on Depressive Symptoms from the 1984–1985 Questionnaire. Final report to the Veterans Administration under contract V101(93)P-1088. Medical Follow-up Agency, Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC.

Page WF. 1991. Using longitudinal data to estimate nonresponse bias. Soc. Psychiatry Psychiatr. Epidemiol. 26:127–131.



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