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Systematic review of multi-symptom conditions in Gulf War veterans

Thomas, Hollie Victoria, Stimpson, N. J., Weightman, Alison Lesley, Dunstan, Frank David John and Lewis, G. 2006. Systematic review of multi-symptom conditions in Gulf War veterans. Psychological Medicine 36 (6) , pp. 735-747. 10.1017/S0033291705006975

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Abstract

Background. GulfWar veterans have a number of health complaints. We therefore decided to carry out a systematic review to identify and summarize the findings from studies that have assessed multi-symptom conditions in Gulf War veterans and in an unexposed comparison group. Method. Studies published between January 1990 and May 2004 were identified by searching a large number of electronic databases. Reference lists and websites were also searched and key researchers were contacted. Studies were included if they compared the prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, CDC-defined chronic multi-symptom illness, fibromyalgia,or symptoms of either fatigue or numbness and tingling in Gulf War veterans and non-Gulf veterans. A total of 2401 abstracts were independently reviewed by two authors. Results. Twenty-three publications fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Gulf deployment was most strongly associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.2–6.7). Gulf War veterans were also approximately three and a half times more likely than non-Gulf veterans to report multiple chemical sensitivity or chronic multi-symptom illness as defined by CDC. The methodological quality of the studies varied but the later and larger studies were of a high methodological standard with robust sampling strategies, adequate response rates and good adjustment for confounders. Conclusions. The results support the hypothesis that deployment to the Gulf War is associated with greater reporting of multi-symptom conditions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Information Services
Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gulf War veterans ; Ill health ; Gulf War syndrome ; Illness ; Symptoms ; Evidence ;
Additional Information: Publisher’s copyright requirements: “All contributors retain the right to post the definitive version of the contribution as published at Cambridge Journals Online (in PDF or HTML form) in the Institutional Repository of the institution in which they worked at the time the paper was first submitted, or (for appropriate journals) in PubMed Central or UK PubMed Central, no sooner than one year after first publication of the paper in the journal, subject to file availability and provided the posting includes a prominent statement of the full bibliographical details, a copyright notice in the name of the copyright holder (Cambridge University Press or the sponsoring Society, as appropriate), and a link to the online edition of the journal at Cambridge Journals Online. Inclusion of this definitive version after one year in Institutional Repositories outside of the institution in which the contributor worked at the time the paper was first submitted will be subject to the additional permission of Cambridge University Press (not to be unreasonably withheld). See: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/forAuthors?page=copyright
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0033-2917
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 23:22
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/6802

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