TABLE 6-8 Respiratory System Diseases


Study Design






CDC 1988

Retrospective cohort, prevalence, population-based, telephone interview with screening medical examination at followup

2490 Vietnam-theater veterans, 1972 Vietnam-era veterans randomly selected from 7924 theater veterans and 7364 era veterans who entered Army in 1965-1971

Chest x-ray findings, pulmonary-function tests

Chest x-ray OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0-1.4; FEV1 ≤ 80% of predicted OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.7-1.1; FVC ≤ 80% of predicted OR 1.0, 95% CI 0.8-1.3; FEV1/ FVC < 70% OR 1.0, 95% CI 0.8-1.3

Age at enlistment, race, year of enlistment, enlistment status (volunteer vs draftee), score on general technical test, primary military occupational specialty

Low participation rate in control group


Eisen et al. 2005

Cross-sectional, prevalence

1061 GW-deployed veterans, 1128 nondeployed veterans

Self-reported asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema; obstructive lung disease (history of disease or symptoms and use of bronchodilators or 15% improvement in FEV1 after bronchodilator use)

Asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.65-1.77; obstructive lung disease OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.52-1.59

Age, sex, race, cigarette-smoking, duty type, service branch, rank

Study limited by low participation rate and number of years since war


(Derived from Kang et al. 2000b)

Karlinsky et al. 2004


1036 GW-deployed, 1103 nondeployed, assessed 10 years after war

Pulmonary-function tests with spirometer, self-reports of respiratory symptoms or use of medication

Cough OR 1.12, 95% CI 0.80-1.57; wheezing OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.06-2.62; physician visits for pulmonary complaints OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.51-2.24; pulmonary hospitalization: OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.13-6.51; asthma OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.50-1.62; bronchitis OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.50-2.34; emphysema OR 4.45, 95% CI 0.74-26.68

Age, height, smoking status, weight, education, service characteristics

No adjustment for smoking although smoking history reported


(Derived from Kang et al. 2000b)

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