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Womens Health Issues. 2019 Jun 25;29 Suppl 1:S47-S55. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2019.04.004.

Gender-based Differences among 1990-1991 Gulf War Era Veterans: Demographics, Lifestyle Behaviors, and Health Conditions.

Author information

1
VA Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center-Durham, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina; Department of Public Health, East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina Heart Institute, Greenville, North Carolina.
2
VA Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center-Durham, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina. Electronic address: kellie.sims@va.gov.
3
VA Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center-Durham, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina; Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, Durham, North Carolina.
4
Durham Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina; Division of General Internal Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
5
VA Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center-Durham, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina; Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.
6
VA Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center-Durham, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina.
7
VA Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center-Durham, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina; Durham Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham VA Health Care System, Durham, North Carolina; Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The 1990-1991 Gulf War employed more women servicemembers than any prior conflict. Gender-based differences among veterans of this era have yet to be explored. This study is among the first and most recent to stratify Gulf War veteran demographics, lifestyle factors, and self-reported diagnoses by gender.

METHODS:

Data from the cross-sectional Gulf War Era Cohort and Biorepository pilot study (n = 1,318; collected between 2014 and 2016), including users and nonusers of the Veterans Health Administration, were used to calculate demographics and adjusted odds ratios.

RESULTS:

Women veterans were oversampled and comprised approximately 23% of the sample. Women reported similar rates of Veterans Health Administration use (44%) and deployment (67%) as men (46% and 72%, respectively). Women were less likely than men to report frequent alcohol use (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.81; p = .0009) or have a history of smoking (aOR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.49-0.84; p = .0014). Among common health conditions, women were more likely than men to report a diagnosis of osteoporosis (aOR, 4.24; 95% CI, 2.39-7.51; p < .0001), bipolar disorder (aOR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.15-4.04; p = .0167), depression (aOR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.81-3.16; p < .0001), irritable bowel syndrome (aOR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.43-3.09; p = .0002), migraines (aOR, 2.96; 95% CI, 2.18-4.01; p < .0001), asthma (aOR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.29-2.67; p = .0008), and thyroid problems (aOR, 4.60; 95% CI, 3.14-6.73; p < .0001). Women were less likely than men to report hypertension (aOR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.41-0.72; p < .0001), tinnitus (aOR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.33-0.63; p < .0001), and diabetes (aOR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.28-0.69; p = .0003).

CONCLUSIONS:

Health differences exist between female and male veterans from the 1990-1991 Gulf War. Gender-specific analyses are needed to better understand the unique health care needs of Gulf War Era veterans and direct future research.

PMID:
31253242
PMCID:
PMC6668031
[Available on 2020-06-25]
DOI:
10.1016/j.whi.2019.04.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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