City Research Online

Dementia in veterans and non-veterans in England: a cross-sectional survey

Greig, F., McManus, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2711-0819 & Fear, N. T. (2021). Dementia in veterans and non-veterans in England: a cross-sectional survey. Occupational Medicine, 71(1), pp. 34-40. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqaa213


Concerns have been raised that military veterans are at greater risk of dementia due to increased rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) found in this population. The prevalence of dementia in English veterans and whether this is different to non-veterans, however, are currently unknown.

To study the risk of dementia in the English veteran population, we aimed to calculate the prevalence of dementia in a group of veterans and compare this with a similar group, with no history of military service.

Male veterans and non-veterans aged over 64 years old were identified from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, a national survey of community-dwelling adults in England. This survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews and incorporated questions on previous military service. Dementia was screened by using the modified Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status (TICS-M).

A total of 496 male veterans and 294 non-veterans were identified. TICS-M scores indicated possible dementia in 24% of veterans and 26% non-veterans; after adjusting for age, the odds of possible dementia was significantly lower in veterans than non-veterans (adjusted OR 0.56; 95% CI 0.38–0.84, P < 0.01).

English male veterans were less likely to have dementia than similar male non-veterans. This study did not find any evidence to support the view that dementia is more common in veterans than non-veterans.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Occupational Medicine following peer review. The version of record Greig, F., McManus, S. and Fear, N. T. (2021). Dementia in veterans and non-veterans in England: a cross-sectional survey. Occupational Medicine(kqaa21), doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqaa213 is available online at:
Publisher Keywords: Dementia, depression, military, occupational health, PTSD, survey, veterans
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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