- CHICAGO (AP) -- Air Force personnel who served in the Gulf War are far
more likely than those who didn't to suffer chronic, unexplained symptoms
such as fatigue, memory loss and joint pain, a government study concluded.
- The findings from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention support numerous previous studies showing evidence
that thousands of the 700,000 personnel sent to the 1991 war suffer from
a variety of unexplained symptoms, which some call ``Gulf War Syndrome.''
- The CDC researchers were unable to link
the symptoms to any biological agent or particular disease.
- The study, published in Wednesday's Journal
of the American Medical Association, arose from a 1994 Pentagon request
that the CDC investigate a ``mystery illness'' among Gulf War vets from
an Air National Guard unit in Lebanon, Pa.
- Led by Dr. Keiji Fukuda, a CDC epidemiologist,
the researchers in 1995 compared the health of members of the Pennsylvania
unit and others who served in the Gulf with those in three other Air Force
- The researchers asked subjects whether
they suffered from one of 35 symptoms and then categorized cases as either
severe or mild-to-moderate.
- Mild-to-moderate illness was found in
39 percent of the Gulf War veterans, compared with 14 percent of the non-vets.
Severe cases were found in 6 percent of the vets but in just 0.7 percent
- Lab tests for various illnesses and biological
agents, such as anthrax, showed no link between symptoms and Gulf War status.
Tests for chemical agents were not done.
- Still, the authors said the symptoms
may be associated with ``an as yet unidentified chemical or biological
- Dr. Robert Haley of the University of
Texas Southwestern Medical Center, a Dallas epidemiologist who also has
studied Gulf War vets, said the findings greatly underestimate the magnitude
of the illness because many of the sickest veterans were less likely to