Gulf War Veterans: Measuring Health

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Many individuals, groups, and federal agencies have a strong interest in finding answers to the numerous and complex questions regarding the health of Gulf War veterans. Various types of research and health measurement are needed to address these diverse issues. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) was asked by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to undertake a study to identify important questions concerning the health of Gulf War veterans and then to design a study to answer those questions. The committee determined that it is of fundamental importance to ask how healthy are Gulf War veterans? Are they as healthy as others? What characteristics are associated with differences between the health of Gulf War veterans and the health of others?

To address these questions, it will be necessary to measure not only the health status of those who served in the Gulf War, but also to compare Gulf War veterans with other groups. Further, one must continue to follow these groups through time to determine whether the groups differ in the way their health status is changing. As the committee began to develop a design that would address the fundamental questions identified, it realized that such a study could have important implications for understanding not only the health of Gulf War veterans, but also the health of veterans of other conflicts.

 

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Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1
1 INTRODUCTION
12
2 STUDIES OF THE HEALTH OF GULF WAR VETERANS
24
3 MEASURING HEALTH
38
4 THE GULF WAR VETERANS HEALTH RESEARCH PORTFOLIO
55
5 GULF WAR VETERANS HEALTH STUDY
63
6 CONCLUSION
83
REFERENCES
87
COALITION FORCES AND FORCE STRENGTH
95
DESIGN ISSUES IN THE GULF WAR VETERANS HEALTH STUDY
96
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