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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182529799
Original Articles

Newly Reported Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis in Relation to Deployment Within Proximity to a Documented Open-Air Burn Pit in Iraq

Jones, Kelly A. MPH; Smith, Besa MPH, PhD; Granado, Nisara S. MPH, PhD; Boyko, Edward J. MD, MPH; Gackstetter, Gary D. DVM, PhD, MPH; Ryan, Margaret A.K. MD, MPH; Phillips, Christopher J. MD, MPH; Smith, Tyler C. MS, PhD; for the Millennium Cohort Study Team

Section Editor(s): Teichman, Ron MD, MPH; Guest Editor

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Abstract

Objective: To assess the relationship between possible exposure to smoke from documented open-air burn pits and newly reported lupus and rheumatoid arthritis among Millennium Cohort participants who have deployed in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Methods: Prospectively assessed self-reported lupus and rheumatoid arthritis among deployers who completed both 2004–2006 and 2007–2008 questionnaires.

Results: After exclusions, more than 18,000 participants were deployed, including more than 3000 participants deployed within a 3-mile radius of a documented burn pit. After adjustment, proximity within 3 miles of a burn pit was not significantly associated with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus in general; however, one location was associated with lupus, although few cases were at this site (n = 2).

Conclusions: Results indicate deployers potentially exposed to documented burn pits in the combined three-camp analysis were not at an elevated risk of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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