[ RadSafe ] Complex Factors in the Etiology of Gulf War Illness: Wartime Exposures and Risk Factors in Veteran Subgroups

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Mon Sep 19 19:32:43 CDT 2011

Here is the article abstract and link mentioned by Dr Raabe in his prior
post about Depleted Uranium.  Sadly, this latest research is not likely to
sway the "true believers" or those who have made every possible effort to
profit from their beliefs.  Last week, one of the "true believers",
convinced that her son's rare cancer was due to his daily exposure to DU
during his two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, began spreading her
false claims.  It is sad that someone spreading the false information about
DU that began with Saddam Hussein's highly successful propaganda campaign
has won over this grief stricken woman and made her an evangelist of the
anti-DU jihad.

Roger Helbig

Read the open-access, full-text article here:

Complex Factors in the Etiology of Gulf War Illness: Wartime Exposures and
Risk Factors in Veteran Subgroups


Background. At least one fourth of U.S. veterans who served in the 1990-1991
Gulf War are affected by the chronic symptomatic illness known as Gulf War
illness (GWI). Clear determination of the causes of GWI has been hindered by
many factors, including limitations in how epidemiologic studies have
assessed the impact of the complex deployment environment on veterans’

Objective. To address GWI etiologic questions by evaluating the association
of symptomatic illness with characteristics of veterans’ deployment.

Methods. Veteran-reported wartime experiences were compared in a
population-based sample of 304 Gulf War veterans: 144 cases who met
pre-established criteria for GWI and 160 controls. Analyses considered
veteran subgroups and confounding among deployment variables.

Results. Deployment experiences and the prevalence of GWI differed
significantly by veterans’ location in theater. Among personnel who were in
Iraq or Kuwait, where all battles took place, GWI was most strongly
associated with using pyridostigmine bromide pills (OR=3.5, CI=1.7-7.4) and
being within one mile of an exploding SCUD missile (OR=3.1, CI=1.5-6.1). For
veterans who remained in support areas, GWI was significantly associated
only with personal pesticide use, with increased prevalence (OR=12.7,
CI=2.6-61.5) in the relatively small subgroup who wore pesticide-treated
uniforms, nearly all of whom also used skin pesticides. Combat service was
not significantly associated with GWI.

Conclusions. Findings support a role for a limited number of wartime
exposures in the etiology of GWI, which differed in importance with the
deployment milieu in which veterans served.

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