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Landrigan, P.J. Illness in Gulf War Veterans. Causes and Consequences (editorial). JAMA 1997; 277: 259-260.

In this editorial, the author summarizes the main findings of the above articles which appeared in the same issue. He comments upon their strengths and limitations. He also summarizes some of the other recently published studies related to mortality, hospitalization, and the frequency of symptoms among GW veterans. The author mentions the late-breaking announcement by the government of sarin release during destruction of Iraqi bunkers, and the controversy over the possibility of chronic effects of low dose exposures to nerve agents. He emphasizes the need for physicians to provide counseling, support, and symptomatic treatment for GW veterans. He notes that a diagnosis of stress-related disorder must await the exclusion of treatable physical factors, but he also urges recognition of the frequent occurrence of stress-related illnesses such as hypertension, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue and appropriate management. He mentions the lessons learned which include prevention, good baseline examinations of troops, prevention of stress-related disorders, and the need to provide all of the care owed by the nation to the veterans who have generously and gallantly served.

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