Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;20(4):265-272.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2009.11.012. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Investigating the risk of cancer in 1990-1991 US Gulf War veterans with the use of state cancer registry data.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, 2300 Eye Street, Washington, DC 20037, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine whether proportional cancer incidence is greater among Gulf War veterans compared with non-Gulf War veterans.


Files obtained from the Defense Manpower Data Center included data for 621,902 veterans who were deployed to the Persian Gulf during the 1990 to 1991 Gulf War (August 2, 1990, to March 1, 1991) and 746,248 non-Gulf War veteran controls. Identification of veterans who received a cancer diagnosis between 1991 and 2006 was accomplished through record linkage of the Defense Manpower Data Center dataset with files from 28 state cancer registries and the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry. By the use of logistic regression, proportional incidence ratios adjusted for demographic and military characteristics were calculated by comparing the proportion of a specific cancer among all cancers in the Gulf War veterans to the proportion of that specific cancer among all cancers in the non-Gulf War veterans.


Only lung cancer showed a statistically significant relative excess among Gulf War veterans compared with non-Gulf War veterans (adjusted proportional incidence ratios, 1.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.29). When adjusted for race, age, and sex, the overall proportion of cancers among Gulf War and non-Gulf War veterans was similar (odds ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.96-1.02).


With the exception of lung cancer, there is little evidence of excess risk of cancer associated with Gulf War deployment. A follow-up study is warranted to confirm this finding and to evaluate the role of greater smoking rates among deployed personnel.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk