GulfLINK banner
Site Map | Search | Contact Us
LIBRARY
  Overview
Case Narratives
Environmental Exposure Reports
Information Papers
RAND Reports
NEWS ARCHIVE
  Overview
Press Releases
Speeches
HELP FOR VETERANS
  Overview
Medical Information
Medals
The 1990-1991 Gulf War Story
Related Sites
FAQS
  Overview
Depleted Uranium
Khamisiyah
Pyridostigmine Bromide

Unwin, C. et al. Health of UK Servicemen Who Served in Persian Gulf War. Lancet (1999) 353: 169-178.

This British study surveyed servicemen and compared those who served in the Gulf War (GWV) to contemporaries who did not deploy to the Gulf and to others who deployed to the Bosnia conflict. There were about 4248 servicemen randomly selected from each of the groups. Response rates were 70%, 62%, and 63% respectively. GWV reported all symptoms and conditions more frequently than the comparison groups. The five most commonly reported symptoms in all three groups were unrefreshing sleep, irritability, headaches, fatigue, and sleeping difficulties. The five most commonly reported conditions in all three groups were back disorders, hay fever, dermatitis, sinus disorders, and migraines. Of all conditions, the one which was most strongly associated with Gulf War service was self-reported chronic fatigue syndrome, although it was uncommon in all three groups. Among servicemen in all three groups, perceptions of poorer health were associated with virtually all potential risk factors or exposures, regardless of deployment status. Belief in exposure to a chemical warfare agent was associated with the lowest health perception. There was also an association of poorer health and receipt of multiple vaccinations, especially among veterans who recalled experiencing side effects from the vaccines. Patterns of symptoms were the same in all three groups, suggesting that there is no specific "Gulf War Syndrome." Limitations: results are based on self-reports in response to a written questionnaire; disorders which require a clinical interview or examination for diagnosis could not be captured; the lack of physical examinations prevents drawing conclusions about physical disorders which might explain the increased frequency of reported symptoms. The authors do plan further studies which will include detailed physical, neurophysiological, and neuropsychological examinations of symptomatic veterans and controls.

Return to Medical Research and Publications Defining Illnesses

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing:

Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.