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Mil Med. 2001 Jul;166(7):648-55.

A comparison of postdeployment hospitalization incidence between active duty Vietnam and Persian Gulf War Veterans.

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  • 1Medical Information Systems and Operations Research Department, Naval Health Research Center, P.O. Box 85122, San Diego, CA 92186-5122, USA.


Post-conflict hospitalization rates of active duty Marines deployed to the Persian Gulf War were compared with hospitalization rates of similar Marine Corps units returning from the Vietnam conflict. The aggregated Gulf War units exhibited lower hospitalization rates than their Vietnam counterparts. Examined separately, infantry and service support units deployed to the Persian Gulf had lower postdeployment hospitalization rates than similar units returning from Vietnam; no significant rate differences existed for the combat engineer and artillery units. The Vietnam veterans had higher percentages of hospital admissions for infective and parasitic diseases and genitourinary disorders than Gulf War veterans, whereas Gulf War veterans had a higher proportion of their hospitalizations in the musculoskeletal disorder category. The types of individual musculoskeletal disorders incurred by the two cohorts were not substantially different.

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