Accession Number : ADA324720

Title :   Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses.

Corporate Author : PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON GULF WAR VETERANS' ILLNESSES WASHINGTON DC

PDF Url : ADA324720

Report Date : 07 JAN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 193

Abstract : Approximately 697,000 men and women served in Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (table 1-1) from August 1990 to June 1991. Americans who fought the Gulf War differed from any force in U.S. history: There was more ethnic diversity, and there were more women, more parents, and more individuals-activated members of the Reserves and National Guard-uprooted from civilian jobs. During the war, U.S. troops suffered 148 combat deaths and 145 deaths due to disease or accidents; 467 individuals were wounded. Even in the face of these relatively low casualty rates, national leaders anticipated some post-conflict health concerns and initiated programs to address them. The first programs focused on helping veterans readjust to civilian life and cope with the stresses of war. Lessons learned from the Vietnam era prompted officials in the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide counseling services-from family therapy to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder-throughout the war and through the return stateside. Despite these efforts, some men and women began to experience debilitating illnesses soon after returning from the Gulf. Commonly reported symptoms included fatigue, muscle and joint pain, memory loss, and severe headaches. When several Gulf-deployed members of an Indiana Army National Guard unit reported these symptoms in early 1992, DOD sent in a research team to conduct an epidemiologic study; the team found no evidence of an outbreak of disease. VA contemporaneously established a health registry where Gulf War veterans could report their symptoms. Reports came in, but answers about the nature and cause of the illnesses remained elusive.

Descriptors :   *CLINICAL MEDICINE, *SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS, *ILLNESS, *WOUNDS AND INJURIES, *PRESIDENT(UNITED STATES), *HEALTH CARE FACILITIES, *BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS, *ADVISORY ACTIVITIES, *CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS, STRESSES, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, GULFS, JOBS, LESSONS LEARNED, LEADERSHIP, HEALTH, TEAMS(PERSONNEL), MEMORY DEVICES, CASUALTIES, ETHNIC GROUPS, LOSSES, PAIN, WOMEN, VIETNAM, PANEL(COMMITTEE), EPIDEMIOLOGY, ACCIDENTS, HEADACHES.

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Medicine and Medical Research
      Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE