Study Design






Boscarino 1997

Nested case-control study in retrospective cohort study conducted 17 years after war

332 PTSD-positive Army Vietnam War veterans with high-combat exposure, 1067 PTSD-negative controls mostly with low-combat exposure

Lifetime PTSD evaluation by in-person interview with DIS; postservice self-reported physician-diagnosed digestive system diseases at in-person interviews; Combat Exposure Index

Digestive diseases OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.02-2.10

Preservice, in-service, postservice factors, including intelligence, race, region of birth, enlistment status, volunteer status, Army marital status, Army medical profile, hypochondriasis

Large sample, generalizability to Army Vietnam veterans; in-person diagnoses of PTSD; lack of specificity as to particular disease; no verification of health reporting against medical records

(Derived from VES)

Dobie et al. 2004


266 female veterans with PTSD, 940 veterans without PTSD; women had all received care at one VA medical center in 1996-1998

Mailed questionnaire for health history, SF-36, PCL-C (screening instrument)

IBS OR 2.8, 95% CI 2.1-3.9

Age; no adjustment for other confounders

Response rate 65%; self-administered questionnaire; without criteria, IBS symptom reporting may be part of generalized somatic reporting tendency

NOTE: CFS = chronic fatigue syndrome, CI = confidence interval, DIS = Diagnostic Interview Schedule, GI = gastrointestinal, GW = Gulf War, IBS = irritable bowel syndrome, MCS = multiple chemical sensitivity, NHSGWEVTF = National Health Survey of Gulf War Era Veterans and Their Families, OR = odds ratio; PCL-C = PTSD Checklist-Civilian, PMR = proportional morbidity ratio, PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder, SF-36 = Short form 36, VA = Department of Veterans Affairs, VES = Vietnam Experience Study, VET Registry = Vietnam Era Twin Registry.

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