Symptom factor analysis, clinical findings, and functional status in a population-based case control study of gulf war unexplained illness

Dennis N. Bourdette, Linda A. McCauley, Andre Barkhuizen, Wendy Johnston, Michael Wynn, Sandra K. Joos, Daniel Storzbach, Tomas Shuell, Diana Sticker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Few epidemiological studies have been conducted that have incorporated clinical evaluations of Gulf War veterans with unexplained health symptoms and healthy controls. We conducted a mail survey of 2022 Gulf War veterans residing in the northwest United States and clinical examinations on a subset of 443 responders who seemed to have unexplained health symptoms or were healthy. Few clinical differences were found between cases and controls. The most frequent unexplained symptoms were cognitive/psychological, but significant overlap existed with musculoskeletal and fatigue symptoms. Over half of the veterans with unexplained musculoskeletal pain met the criteria for fibromyalgia, and a significant portion of the veterans with unexplained fatigue met the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome. Similarities were found in the clinical interpretation of unexplained illness in this population and statistical factor analysis performed by this study group and others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1026-1040
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume43
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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