Duty, Honor, Country, Disparity: Race/Ethnic Differences in Health and Disability Among Male Veterans

Connor M. Sheehan, Robert A. Hummer, Brenda L. Moore, Kimberly R. Huyser, John Sibley Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Given their unique occupational hazards and sizable population, military veterans are an important population for the study of health. Yet, veterans are by no means homogeneous, and there are unanswered questions regarding the extent of, and explanations for, racial and ethnic differences in veterans’ health. Using the 2010 National Survey of Veterans, we first documented race/ethnic differences in self-rated health and limitations in activities of daily living among male veterans aged 30–84. Second, we examined potential explanations for the disparities, including socioeconomic and behavioral differences, as well as differences in specific military experiences. We found that Black, Hispanic, and other/multiple race veterans reported much worse health than White veterans. Using progressively adjusted regression models, we uncovered that the poorer self-rated health and higher levels of activity limitations among minority veterans compared to Whites were partially explained by differences in their socioeconomic status and by their military experiences. Minority veterans are a vulnerable population for poor health; future research and policy efforts should attempt to better understand and ameliorate their health disadvantages relative to White veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)785-804
Number of pages20
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Health disparities
  • Military
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Veteran health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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