Objective: To investigate the relationship between chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) and possible exposure to an open-air burn pit at three selected bases among those deployed to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Methods: Chronic multisymptom illness (reporting at least one symptom in at least two of the following symptom constructs: general fatigue; mood and cognition problems; and musculoskeletal discomfort) was assessed, differentiating by potential burn pit exposure, among deployers who completed 2004 and 2007 Millennium Cohort questionnaires.
Results: More than 21,000 Cohort participants were deployed in support of the current operations, including more than 3000 participants with at least one deployment within a 3-mile radius of a documented burn pit. After adjusting for covariates, no elevated risk of CMI was observed among those exposed.
Conclusions: There was no increase in CMI symptom reporting in those deployed to three selected bases with documented burn pits compared with other deployers.