Hospitalizations for unexplained illnesses among U.S. veterans of the Persian Gulf War.

Published

Journal Article

Persian Gulf War veterans have reported a variety of symptoms, many of which have not led to conventional diagnoses. We ascertained all active-duty U.S. military personnel deployed to the Persian Gulf War (552,111) and all Gulf War era military personnel not deployed (1,479,751) and compared their postwar hospitalization records (until 1 April 1996) for one or more of 77 diagnoses under the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) system. The diagnoses were assembled by the Emerging Infections Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and are here termed "unexplained illnesses." Deployed veterans were found to have a slightly higher risk of hospitalization for unexplained illness than the nondeployed. Most of the excess hospitalizations for the deployed were due to the diagnosis "illness of unknown cause" (ICD-9 code 799.9), and most occurred in participants of the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program who were admitted for evaluation only. When the effect of participation in this program was removed, the deployed had a slightly lower risk than the nondeployed. These findings suggest that active-duty Gulf War veterans did not have excess unexplained illnesses resulting in hospitalization in the 4.67-year period following deployment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Knoke, JD; Gray, GC

Published Date

  • April 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 211 - 219

PubMed ID

  • 9621191

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9621191

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1080-6040

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3201/eid0402.980208

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States