Is service with the parachute regiment bad for your health?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Military parachuting is perceived to be a 'high risk' activity. The estimate of risk should be based on a comparison of injury rates between soldiers who are military parachutists and soldiers who are not military parachutists rather than the rate of injury per parachute descent. Since other aspects of military life also have an inherent risk of injury the risk attributable to military parachuting must be assessed in this context. The aim of this paper is to determine whether Parachute Regiment soldiers have a greater risk of injury as compared with non-Parachute Regiment infantry soldiers by comparing rates of hospital admission and medical discharge between the two groups. Records at the Defence Analytical Services Agency were analysed for the 10-year period 1987-96. The mean rate of hospital admission for Parachute Regiment soldiers was 50.1 per 1,000 and for infantry soldiers was 50.8 per 1,000 [relative risk (RR) = 0.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.92-1.04). The mean rate of medical discharge for Parachute Regiment soldiers was 4.9 per 1,000 and for infantry the mean rate was 2.8 per 1,000 (RR = 1.76; CI = 1.45-2.15). This study has shown a methodology for comparing occupational exposure to risk that could be extended to other groups if they can be separated by appropriate criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalOccupational medicine (Oxford, England)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999


  • Accidents, Aviation/statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Occupational/statistics & numerical data
  • Aviation/statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Assessment
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology


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