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July 28, 1999

Chronic Multisystem Illness Among Gulf War Veterans

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(4):327-329. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-4-jbk0728

To the Editor: The findings of Dr Fukuda et al1 that certain symptom presentations that clinicians are seeing may not be unique to Gulf War veterans confirms our clinical impression. It is particularly interesting that the authors report increased prevalences of diarrhea among individuals with relatively severe cases of "multisymptom illness" (77% with diarrhea) and mild to moderate cases (26% with diarrhea) compared with a low prevalence of diarrhea in noncases (2%). They surmise that these symptoms may represent irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).