Objective: To assess periodically the health status of a cohort of 1991 Gulf War veterans by comparing various health outcomes with those of their military peers who were not deployed to the Gulf.
Methods: We conducted a follow-up health survey to collect health information among population-based samples of 30,000 veterans (15,000 Gulf War veterans and 15,000 Gulf Era veterans [not deployed in the Gulf War]) using a structured questionnaire.
Results: Gulf War veterans reported significantly higher rates of:
• Unexplained multi-symptom illness,
• Chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness,
• Posttraumatic stress disorder,
• Functional impairment,
• Health care utilization,
• A majority of selected physical conditions and all mental disorders queried during the survey…
…than did Gulf Era veteran controls.
Conclusions: Fourteen years after deployment, 1991 Gulf War veterans continue to report a higher prevalence of many adverse health outcomes, compared with Gulf Era veterans.
Source: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar 24, 2009. 19322107, by Kang HK, Li B, Mahan CM, Eisen SA, Engel CC. Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Epidemiology Service; Institute for Clinical Research Inc., Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Washington DC; Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Service; Department of Defense, Deployment Health Clinical Center at Walter Reed, Washington, DC, USA.