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Health Agencies Update
April 23/30, 2014

Gulf War Illness Defined

JAMA. 2014;311(16):1603. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4489

A new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) advocates for a set of criteria researchers and clinicians should use to identify Gulf War veterans with chronic multisymptom illnesses (http://bit.ly/Omvuyy).

Unexplained illnesses have plagued some veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War for more than 2 decades. Clusters of symptoms may include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, loss of concentration, forgetfulness, headache, respiratory complaints, rashes, sleep disturbances, and gastrointestinal distress. Although combat exposure was limited during the conflict, many veterans were exposed to biologic and chemical agents, including the fumes of oil well fires, which may be responsible for these symptom clusters, according to the IOM.

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