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August 6, 1997

Identification of Gulf War Syndrome: Methodological Issues and Medical Illnesses

Author Affiliations

Veterans Affairs Medical Center Manchester, NH

JAMA. 1997;278(5):383. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550050045018

To the Editor.  —Despite its limitations, the study by Dr Haley and colleagues1 is welcomed by clinicians like me who care for Persian Gulf War veterans. I would like to make several observations based on my experience gained from the evaluation and follow-up of 549 Gulf War veterans. Eighty-five percent of these veterans were younger than 30 years when first evaluated, most of them reside in the New England states, the majority of them are male, and they served in all military branches. Their self-reported symptoms fit well in the 6 syndromes described by Haley et al.1 Even the words used by these veterans to describe their symptoms are strikingly similar to the terms used to describe the symptoms in this study. Many veterans in my group developed high intolerance to chemicals existing in the surrounding environment, experienced the onset of new allergies, including life-threatening reactions to bee