Increased postwar symptoms and psychological morbidity among U.S. Navy Gulf War veterans.
To investigate reports on war-related morbidity, 527 active-duty Gulf War veterans and 970 nondeployed veterans from 14 Seabee commands were studied in 1994 with a questionnaire, sera collection, handgrip strength, and pulmonary function testing. The questionnaire assessed postwar symptoms, war exposures, and screened for chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological symptoms suggesting neurosis (Hopkins Symptom Checklist). Sera were tested with four nonspecific reactant assays: C-reactive protein, transferrin, ferritin, and haptoglobin. Gulf War veterans reported a higher prevalence for 35 of 41 symptoms, scored higher on psychological symptom scales, were more likely to screen for post-traumatic stress disorder, had lower handgrip strength, and had higher serum ferritin assay results. Numerous comparisons of these morbidity outcomes with 30 self-reported exposures demonstrated many associations, but no unique exposure or group of exposures were implicated. Morbidity data are consistent with other postwar observations, but the etiology for morbidity findings remains uncertain.
Gray, GC; Kaiser, KS; Hawksworth, AW; Hall, FW; Barrett-Connor, E
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