• Article

Infectious disease rates in the U.S. Navy, 1980 to 1995

The effect of increasing numbers of women in the U.S. Navy, particularly those aboard Navy ships, on infectious disease risk is unknown. This study examines gender and other demographic differences among all U.S. Navy enlisted personnel in first hospitalizations for infectious diseases from 1980 through 1989 and identifies trends in incidence rates during the extended period from 1980 to 1995. All data were obtained from official personnel and medical records. First hospitalization rates were computed using the Epidemiological Interactive System. Varicella and other viruses and chlamydiae accounted for more than 20,000 hospitalizations among Navy enlisted personnel in the 1980s. In 7 of the 12 categories of common infectious diseases, women's rates were higher than those for men, particularly for viral meningitis, herpes simplex, syphilis, gonococcal disease, and candidiasis. An excess of certain common infectious diseases among women and nonwhite ethnic groups emphasizes the need for continuing education and surveillance in these populations


Gunderson, EK., Garland, C., & Hourani, L. (2001). Infectious disease rates in the U.S. Navy, 1980 to 1995. Military Medicine, 166(6), 544-549.