Sourcebook Volume 1–Women Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration: Sociodemographic Characteristics and Use of VHA Care

The Sourcebook is the result of ongoing Veterans Health Administration (VHA) efforts aimed at understanding the effects of military service on women’s lives.  The first in a series, Sourcebook Vol. 1 describes women Veterans receiving VHA care in Fiscal Year 2009 overall and within key subgroups (by age and by service-connected disability status). It also presents gender comparisons between women and men in FY09. Finally, it presents longitudinal trends in utilization over the decade (FY00–FY09). Future volumes will include information on the use of fee basis care, rural status, race and ethnicity, and diagnoses.

Key findings of Sourcebook Vol. 1 include:

  • The number of women Veterans using VHA has increased from 159,360 in FY00 to 292,921 in FY09, representing a near doubling over the decade.
  • The age distribution turned from bi-modal to tri-modal over the decade.  In 2000, the age distribution of women showed two peaks, at ages 44 and 76. In FY09, there were three peaks, at ages 27, 47 and 85. 
  • Women Veteran VHA users have high levels of service-connected disability status.
  • Among women Veteran VHA users, 37% use mental health services.