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) using a structured questionnaire.
Results: Gulf 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.
From the Department of Veterans Affairs (Dr Kang, Dr Mahan), Environmental Epidemiology Service; Institute for Clinical Research Inc. (Ms Li), Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Washington DC; Department of Veterans Affairs (Dr Eisen), Health Services Research and Development Service; and Department of Defense (Dr Engel), Deployment Health Clinical Center at Walter Reed, Wash.
Address correspondence to: Han K. Kang, DrPH, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Epidemiology Service, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington DC 20420; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.