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Distrubition of internal diseases causing unfitness for military service among candidates in Turkey

Necmettin Koçak, Ercan Göçgeldi, Ramazan Akyıldız, Hakan İstanbulluoğlu, İbrahim Aydın, Abdullah Taşlığınar, Selim Kılıç.

Background: In Turkey, compulsory military service applies to all male citizens from twenty to forty-one years. This study was conducted to investigate the distribution of the cases to be determined as unfit for the military service due to internal diseases among young adults who underwent medical examinations for compulsory military service.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out to collect data by examining the medical reports of 1.777.500 candidates drafted into Turkish Armed Forces for military medical examination between 2009 and 2011.

Results: The prevalence of internal diseases by years was found to be 18.3 for 2009, 24.62 for 2010 and 25.63 for 2011 per 1000 people. Leading causes for candidates to be rejected from military service were found as obesity 11.72, underweight 1.73, diabetes mellitus 1.47, congenital heart disease 1.22, valvular heart disease 1.09 per 1000 people respectively. In our study essential hypertension prevalence was found to be 0.17 ‰.

Conclusions: In this study, it was ascertained that the prevalence of obesity and underweight characterized by nutritional deficiency/malnutrition and essential hypertension increased over the years. We suggest that running various obesity programs or campaigns for individuals in early childhood could be of crucial importance in addressing these endemic health problems in Turkey. It is proposed that detailed examination of these data by public health administrators, could be utilized to address the major health problems in the society.

Key words: Epidemiology, internal disesase, military, obesity, underweight, diabetes mellitus.

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