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VA Health Care Utilization by Recent Veterans

VA produced a health care utilization report four times a year containing data on Veterans who have used VA health care and who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), or Operation New Dawn (OND) from 2003 through 2017. These reports provided a cumulative tally of diagnoses from health care encounters between 2003 and 2015.  The report findings provided an accurate snapshot of the magnitude of recent Veterans accessing the VA system, the diagnoses driving care utilization, and the demographic and military characteristics that described the population of post 9/11 Veterans.

Changes in the availability and character of data sources that supported this report meant it could not be produced in the same manner.  New data sources, epidemiological studies and other reports have supplanted this information and provided more detailed understanding of the OEF/OIF/OND population.   

The latest report (260 KB, PDF) contains data from October 1, 2001 to June 30, 2015.


  • Approximately 62 percent (1,218,857) of all separated OEF/OIF/OND Veterans have used VA health care since October 1, 2001.
  • Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, a total of 738,212 of these Veterans accessed VA health care.
  • The frequency and percent of the three most common diagnoses were: musculoskeletal ailments (759,850 or 62.3 percent); symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions (conditions that do not have an immediately obvious cause or isolated laboratory test abnormalities) (715,263 or 58.7 percent); and mental disorders (708,062 or 58.1 percent). A Veteran can have more than one diagnosis.

About the report

The VA health care utilization report is created by comparing a Department of Defense roster of returning Veterans to VA’s electronic inpatient and outpatient health records.

The data used in the report provide valuable information about Veterans who have accessed VA health care. The report does not represent all recent Veterans who have become eligible for VA health care, who have ever served in OEF, OIF, or OND, or who are currently serving in these conflicts.

Carefully designed epidemiology studies are required to answer specific questions about the health of all Veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Past reports

For reports from FY 2012 and 4th Quarter FY 2011, contact Post-Deployment Health Services.

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