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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2008;45(3):395-407.

Risk factors for mental, physical, and functional health in Gulf War veterans.

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  • 1National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Boston (116B-5), Boston, MA 02130, USA. lking@bu.edu


Risk factors associated with war-zone events and circumstances are implicated in the health and adjustment of military veterans. We assessed a national stratified sample of community-residing veterans of the Gulf War (N = 357) using scales from the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, along with an array of mental (posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety), physical (symptom and condition indicators especially pertinent to Gulf War illnesses), and functional (both mental and physical dimensions) health outcomes. We found that perceived threat or fear of bodily harm in the war zone and self-reported or perceived exposures to environmental hazards may play a critical role in all measured aspects of health. Moreover, a synergistic effect of these two risk factors was observed in the prediction of mental health and mental health functional status.

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