Gulf War Veterans' Health Registries. Who is most likely to seek evaluation?
Since the Persian Gulf War ended in 1991, many veterans have sought medical evaluation in the Department of Veterans Affairs Persian Gulf Veterans' Health Registry (VA registry) or the Department of Defense's Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program (DoD registry). Using combined data collected from 1993 to 1997 from the VA and DoD registries, the authors compared the characteristics of registry participants (n=74,653) with those of all Gulf War veterans (n=696,531) to determine the personnel most likely to seek medical evaluation. Using multiple logistic regression, the authors found that service branch and type were strongly associated with registry participation, with Army (adjusted odds ratio (OR)=4.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.6-4.9) and National Guard (OR=2.6, 95% CI 2.5-2.6) personnel at highest odds compared with reference category personnel. Registry participants also were more likely to have been stationed in the Gulf War theater during the fighting (OR=2.2), to be older (>31 years/<22 years OR=2.1), to have been an enlisted person (OR=2.0), to have been construction workers (OR=1.3), to be female (OR=1.3), and to have been hospitalized during the 12-month period before the war (OR=1.2). These findings are useful in generating hypotheses regarding postwar morbidity. They also suggest that subpopulations of Gulf War veterans have a higher prevalence of symptoms and merit further study.
Gray, GC; Hawksworth, AW; Smith, TC; Kang, HK; Knoke, JD; Gackstetter, GD
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