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 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
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General
Project Summary

Title: A Comparison of Post Deployment Hospitalization Between Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans
Synopsis: The study will compare health problems of Gulf War Veterans to Vietnam Veterans to determine if deployment of the Gulf theater presented unique health problems, or if there is a general relationship between health problems and exposure to a combat environment.
Overall Project Objective: This study will examine the role of exposure to war generally on the health problems of Gulf War Veterans (GWVs) by comparing post-deployment hospitalization rates of GWVs with post-deployment hospitalization incidence among Vietnam veterans.
Status/Results to Date: Overall, and in four of the five postdeployment years, the aggregated Gulf War veterans exhibited lower hospitalization rates than did their Vietnam Counterparts. Separately, the infantry and service support units deployed to the Persian Gulf had lower postdeployment hospitalization rates than did the Vietnam veterans. The combat engineer and artillery units deployed to the Gulf and Vietnam did not differ significantly in their respective rates of hospitalization. Among veterans who required hospitalization, the two cohorts did not differ in subsequent admissions among those who had at least one hospitalization. The Vietnam veterans had higher percentages of their hospital admissions constituted by 'Infective and Parasitic' diseases, and 'Genitourinary' disorders than did the Gulf War veterans, while Gulf War veterans had a higher proportion of their hospitalizations with the 'Musculoskeletal' disorder category. The types of individual musculoskeletal disorders incurred by the two cohorts were not substantially different.
Project:DoD-71
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:Naval Health Research Center
P.I. Name:Christopher Blood, M.A.
Research Type:Epidemiology
Research Focus:Symptoms & General Health
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Complete
Study Start Date:March 01,1998
Estimated Completion Date:March 01,2000
Specific Aims: The study will attempt to determine if the post-deployment health problems of some Gulf War veterans is unique to their deployment to the Gulf theater, or whether there is a more general relationship between health problems and exposure to a combat environment
Methodology: The investigation, a statistics oriented comparison of incidence rates among two populations, will contrast the post-deployment hospitalization incidence of GWVs with the hospitalization incidence of veterans of the Vietnam conflict. Comparison populations will be varying types of Marine Corps units deployed to the theaters of operations: infantry units, support units, and service support units. The study populations from the Vietnam War, all serving at that conflict's very conclusion, include 1) infantry battalions of the 1st Marine Division 2) battalions of the 11th Marine Artillery Regiment and the 1st Engineer battalion and 3) the headquarters battalion, supply battalion, and maintenance battalion of the 1st Force Service Regiment. For the Gulf War, infantry battalions from the 1st Marine Division will also be used as the combat unit study population, personnel from two battalions of the 11th Marines and the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion will form the combat support group, and the Marines attached to the headquarters battalion, maintenance battalion and supply battalion of the First Force Service Support Group (FSSG) will compose the service support group. Analyses will examine hospitalization incidence by person-years across a 5 year period following the conflicts, using International Classification of Diseases (ICD) categories, and deriving incidence rates from the medical and demographic databases. Rates of hospitalization incidence and prevalence will then be computed per post-deployment person-year for each of the troop types, and these rates will be contrasted to determine if significant differences exist between veterans of the two conflicts.
Most Recent Publications:

Blood C, Aboumrad TL. A comparison of postdeployment hospitalization incidence between active duty Vietnam and Persian Gulf War Veterans. Military Medicine, 166(7):648-55, Jul 2001. Abstract

Hospitalization Incidence Between active Duty Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans. Naval Health Research Center, 00-02. Technical Report