Research Article - Journal of Aging and Geriatric Psychiatry (2022) Volume 6, Issue 4
Prevalence of mental health disorders and cost of medical utilization in elderly taiwan military veterans vs non-veterans.
Introduction: Previous studies have shown that older veterans may be at an increased risk of mental health disorders compared with similarly aged non-veterans. In Taiwan, there have been scarce studies discussing mental health disorders in elderly Taiwan veterans. Methods: Elderly veterans were identified from the National Health Institute Research Database, with a non-veteran group being selected at a 1:1 ratio match with the veteran group in the categories of age, gender and living location. We then compared the prevalence of mental health disorders and medical utilization between the veteran and non-veteran groups. Results: We identified 6,050 elderly veterans who were then matched with non-veterans. The prevalence of major and minor neurocognitive disorders, dysthymic disorder, sleep disorder, major psychiatric illness and minor psychiatric illness in the veteran’s group were significantly higher than those seen in the non-veterans group. In addition, the veterans required more medical utilization than non-veterans in the year 2013. Discussion: The elderly veterans experienced a higher prevalence of mental illness than nonveterans, pre-pandemic. The mental health condition of this vulnerable elderly population postpandemic should continue to be followed and the government should create laws which face the issue positively, while considering the changes they will experience during post-pandemic life as well as in the medical system.Author(s): Wei-Hao Lin