Objective: To further elucidate the nature of illness in veterans of the 1990 to 1991 Gulf War (GW) by examining the GW Illness (GWI) definition advanced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which specified caseness as having at least one symptom from two of the three factors: fatigue, mood-cognition, and musculoskeletal.
Methods: A total of 311 male and female GW veterans drawn from across the nation were assessed in a survey-based study approximately 10 years after deployment.
Results: A total of 33.8% of the probability-weighted sample met GWI criteria. Multiple symptom profiles were found, with more than half of GWI cases endorsing a symptom on all the three factors, and almost all cases endorsing at least one mood-cognition symptom.
Conclusion: Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition has some limitations that should be considered, it remains a useful tool for assessing the presence of illness in GW veterans.