VA health care utilization and costs among male and female veterans in the year after service in Afghanistan and Iraq

Mil Med. 2011 Mar;176(3):265-9. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-10-00142.


The objective of this study was to compare the 1-year VA health care service use and costs between male and female Veterans returning from deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq. Using VA administrative data, measures of health care service use and costs were computed for male and female veterans in the year after last deployment. Service use and cost measures included inpatient care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, and fee basis care. Unadjusted differences by gender were evaluated using chi-square and t-tests, and differences adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, education, branch of service, rank, and service-connected status were evaluated using generalized linear models with log links. Study findings indicated that although unadjusted total costs were higher for males than females, this difference did not remain after adjusting for covariates. However, adjusted inpatient costs were lower for women compared to those for men, and outpatient and pharmacy costs were higher.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Ambulatory Care / economics
  • Female
  • Health Services / economics
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / economics
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans*