The Association Between Toxic Exposures and Chronic Multisymptom Illness in Veterans of the Wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine if post-9/11 veterans deployed to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts experienced toxic exposures and whether they are related to symptoms of chronic multisymptom illness (CMI). METHODS: Data from 224 post-9/11 veterans who self-reported exposure to hazards in theater were analyzed using hierarchical regression. RESULTS: Of the sample, 97.2% endorsed experiencing one or more potentially toxic exposure. In a regression model, toxic exposures and CMI symptoms were significantly associated above and beyond covariates. Follow-up analyses revealed that pesticide exposures, but not smoke inhalation was associated with CMI symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that toxic exposures were common among military personnel deployed to the most recent conflicts, and appear to be associated with CMI symptoms. Additional research on the impact of toxic exposures on returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans' health is needed.
DeBeer, BB; Davidson, D; Meyer, EC; Kimbrel, NA; Gulliver, SB; Morissette, SB
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