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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar 16;16(6). pii: E949. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16060949.

Rates of Chronic Medical Conditions in 1991 Gulf War Veterans Compared to the General Population.

Author information

1
Research Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA. cgzundel@bu.edu.
2
Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA. cgzundel@bu.edu.
3
Research Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA. mhk@bu.edu.
4
Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA. mhk@bu.edu.
5
Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA. tch@bu.edu.
6
Research Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA. meganyee@bu.edu.
7
Research Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA. claudia.grasso@va.gov.
8
Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA. paj@bu.edu.
9
Department of Population Health Sciences, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30912, USA. scoughlin@augusta.edu.
10
Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA. tty@bu.edu.

Abstract

Prevalence of nine chronic medical conditions in the population-based Ft. Devens Cohort (FDC) of GW veterans were compared with the population-based 2013⁻2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cohort. Excess prevalence was calculated as the difference in prevalence estimates from the Ft. Devens and NHANES cohorts; and confidence intervals and p-values are based on the standard errors for the two prevalence estimates. FDC males were at increased risk for reporting seven chronic medical conditions compared with NHANES males. FDC females were at decreased risk for high blood pressure and increased risk for diabetes when compared with NHANES females. FDC veterans reporting war-related chemical weapons exposure showed higher risk of high blood pressure; diabetes; arthritis and chronic bronchitis while those reporting taking anti-nerve gas pills had increased risk of heart attack and diabetes. GW veterans are at higher risk of chronic conditions than the general population and these risks are associated with self-reported toxicant exposures.

KEYWORDS:

Fort Devens Cohort; Gulf War; Gulf War Illness; NHANES; chemical weapons; chronic conditions; pyridostigmine bromide; veterans

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