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Research Topics
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General
Project Summary

Title: Health Assessment of Persian Gulf War Veterans from Iowa
Synopsis: This study assesses the prevalence of self-reported symptoms of Gulf War veterans from Iowa and compares them to veterans that served during the same time, but did not deploy the Persian Gulf.
Overall Project Objective: To assess the prevalence of self-reported symptoms and illnesses among military personnel deployed during the Persian Gulf War and to compare the prevalence of these conditions with the prevalence among military personnel on active duty at the same time, but not deployed to the Persian Gulf.
Status/Results to Date: The original study was extended to collect physical examination data on a subset of the telephone survey participants to validate the self-report of asthma. Data were collected on 32 Gulf War veterans who reported asthma during the telephone survey, 42 Gulf War veterans who reported no illnesses during the telephone survey, and 20 non-Gulf War who reported asthma during the telephone survey. The two groups of subjects with reported asthma were similar in symptoms, baseline pulmonary function tests, and bronchial hyperreactivity. The Gulf War veterans who reported asthma had significantly greater current symptomatology, lower baseline spirometry, and increased bronchial hyperreactivity when compared with the Gulf War veterans who reported no illness during the telephone survey. No differences in smoking history were found between the two groups with asthma; however, Gulf War veterans who reported asthma were more likely to be current and past smokers than the Gulf War veterans who did not report illness. Data analysis is continuing for exposures and psychiatric/psychological aspects of the study.
Project:HHS-1
Agency:Department Of Health And Human Services
Location:CDC
State of Iowa
P.I. Name:D A Schwartz
Research Type:Epidemiology
Research Focus:Symptoms & General Health
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:December 01,1994
Estimated Completion Date:April 30,2001
Specific Aims: This study addressed the following specific hypotheses: (1) Persian Gulf War (PGW) veterans experienced more self-reported health problems in the post-war period than did Persian Gulf-era military personnel who did not serve in the Persian Gulf region; (2) active duty military personnel with service in the Persian Gulf region experienced more self-reported health problems in the post war period than did active duty military personnel who did not serve in the Persian Gulf region; (3) National Guard and reserve personnel with service in the Persian Gulf region experienced more self-reported health problems in the post-war period than did National Guard and reserve personnel who did not serve in the Persian Gulf region; and (4) National Guard and reserve personnel with service in the Persian Gulf region experienced more self-reported health problems than active duty military personnel with comparable service.
Methodology: Data on self-reported health outcomes was collected through a telephone survey with a random sample of Persian Gulf War veterans and Persian Gulf War-era controls who listed Iowa as their home of record. Interviews were completed with 3,695 eligible study subjects (76%).
Most Recent Publications:

Lange JL, Schwartz DA, Doebbeling BN, Heller JM, Thorne PS. Exposures to the Kuwait oil fires and their association with asthma and bronchitis among gulf war veterans. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110(11):1141-1146. Nov 2002. Abstract

Voelker MD, Saag KG, Schwartz DA, Chrischilles E, Clarke WR, Woolson RF, Doebbeling BN. Health-related quality of life in Gulf War era military personnel. American Journal of Epidemiology, 155(10):899-907. May 2002. Abstract

Doebbeling BN, Clarke WR, Watson DL, Torner JC, Woolson RF, Voelker MD, Barrett DH, Schwartz DA. Is there a Persian Gulf War syndrome? Evidence from a large population-based survey of veterans and nondeployed controls. American Journal of Medicine, 108(9):695-704, Jun 2000. Abstract

Black DW, Doebbeling BN, Schwartz DA, Voelker MD, Clarke WR, Woolson RF, Barrett DH. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome: Symptom Prevalence And Risk Factors In A Military Population. Arch Internal Medicine, 160(8):1169-76, Apr 2000. Abstract

Barrett DH, Doebbeling CC, Schwartz DA, Voelker MD, Falter KH, Woolson RF, Doebbeling BN. Post-traumatic stress disorder and self-reported physical health status among U.S. Military personnel serving during the Gulf War period: a population-based study. Psychosomatics, 43(3):195-205. May - Jun 2002. Abstract

Black DW, Voelker MD, Doebbeling BN, Clarke WR, Woolson RF, Barrett DH, Schwartz DA. Quality of life and health-services utilization in a population-based sample of military personnel reporting multiple chemical sensitivities. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 41(10):928-33, Oct 1999. Abstract