Research: Gulf War Veterans & Medical Assessment

Research Paper Title

Clinical Findings of the Second 1000 Gulf War Veterans who Attended the Ministry of Defence’s Medical Assessment Programme.

Objective

To review the diagnoses made in the second 1000 veterans of the Gulf conflict 1990-91 seen in the Ministry of Defence’s Gulf Veterans’ Medical Assessment Programme and to determine the main conditions related to Gulf service.

Design

Case series of 1000 consecutive Gulf veterans who presented to the programme between 25 February 1997 and 19 February 1998.

Subjects

Gulf War veterans.

Main outcome measures

Assessment of the patient’s health status. Diagnosis of medical and psychiatric conditions using ICD-10.

Results

204 patients were unwell. 309 patients had organic disease, of whom 248 were well, 252 had psychiatric conditions which remained active in 173. The remaining 79, now well, had had psychiatric disorders following Gulf service. The principal psychiatric diagnosis was post traumatic stress disorder and the majority arose as a result of Gulf service.

Conclusion

796 (80%) veterans were well. There were 309 (31%) patients with organic disease. 252 (25%) veterans had psychiatric conditions of which 173 (69%) had an active diagnosed disorder and post traumatic stress disorder was the predominant condition. The pattern of disease is similar to that seen in NHS practice. We found, like others, no evidence to support a unique Gulf War syndrome. Post conflict illnesses have many common features.

Source: Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 2001;147:153-160.

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