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J Occup Environ Med. 2020 Jan;62(1):4-10. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001716.

Prevalence of Chronic Multisymptom Illness/Gulf War Illness Over Time Among Millennium Cohort Participants, 2001 to 2016.

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Leidos, Inc, Reston, Virginia (Dr Porter); Department of Defense Center for Deployment Health Research, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, California (Dr Porter, Ms Long, Dr Rull); The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland (Ms Long); Post-Deployment Health Epidemiology Program, Office of Patient Care Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC (Dr Dursa).



Chronic multisymptom illness/Gulf War illness (CMI/GWI) is the defining illness of the 1990 to 1991 Gulf War. However, few studies have examined changes over time in CMI/GWI prevalence.


Prevalence of CMI/GWI over time was compared between three groups of military personnel (9110 Gulf War veterans, 36,019 era personnel, 31,446 non-era personnel) enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study. Post hoc analyses were conducted among participants with no reported mental and physical health conditions (Nā€Š=ā€Š30,093).


CMI/GWI prevalence increased substantially over the study period among all groups. Gulf War veterans had the highest prevalence of CMI/GWI across the study period. This finding persisted after excluding participants with mental and physical health conditions.


Gulf War veterans' increased risk of CMI/GWI persisted across the study period, highlighting the continued importance of screening and improving treatment options among this population.

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