Gulf War I and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Awareness & Fundraising' started by Frédéric, Feb 7, 2020.

    1. Frédéric

      Frédéric Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      Marseille, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Tinnitus is not mentioned in the Abstract but is mentioned in the full article.
      Full article:

      Gulf War Illness Symptom Severity and Onset: A Cross-Sectional Survey

      Gulf War illness (GWI) affects 25 to 32% of the 693,826 veterans of the First Persian Gulf War. The etiology and pathophysiology of GWI remain controversial, but the condition is attributed to toxic exposures and stress in the deployed setting. The Kansas criteria used for GWI diagnosis highlight 37 symptoms that were more prevalent in deployed compared to nondeployed veterans. This study employed the Kansas criteria to identify recent symptom severity, assess the perceived burden of disease for veterans with GWI, and characterize disease course over the past three decades.

      Materials and Methods:
      The Kansas criteria were operationalized into a questionnaire to provide a summary of symptom severity, approximate year of onset, and an aid for diagnosis. The online version of the questionnaire was completed by 485 veterans with GWI. Symptom data were grouped for analysis based on observed trends. This study received approval from the Georgetown University Institutional Review Board (IRB 2018–0430).

      RESULTS: Symptom severity for the past 6 months demonstrated a high burden of disease for veteran participants. Frequency analysis of total severity scores (out of 148) showed a unimodal distribution with a median score of 95 (1st quartile = 78, 3rd quartile = 110), minimum score of 19, and maximum of 146. Over 89% of respondents had moderate or severe fatigue, sleep disturbances, pain, and abdominal symptoms over the past 6 months. The veterans who participated in this study reported cumulative frequencies higher than those in a meta-analysis of 21 GWI large epidemiologic cross-sectional studies for symptoms around 1998. The cumulative frequency of symptoms indicated long duration of symptoms, although recall bias must be taken into consideration.

      Conclusions: This cross-sectional sample of self-selected veterans with GWI demonstrates a high current burden of disease and reveals symptom onset patterns. The information from this study can be used to better understand the long-term trajectory of GWI and be integrated into the treatment and diagnosis of impacted veterans. It can also be used as historical deployed health data and inform the future medical care of combat veterans experiencing health effects from war exposures.

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