three categories: data and databases, coordination/process, and considerations of study design needs.
The VA Persian Gulf Health Registry is not a population database and is not administered uniformly, therefore, it cannot serve the purposes of research into the etiology or treatment of possible health problems. The Committee recognizes that certain tabulated descriptions of affected persons may legitimately be carried out for reasons other than the generation of scientific data. Specifically, there may be medical reasons for collecting information about patients with certain kinds of problems, especially diagnostic problems, particularly in medical settings where the information may be subjected to more intense scrutiny. An example is the establishment of the VA referral centers for Gulf War veterans. Since a limited number of veterans have been referred to these centers, and because the sample is self-selected, the Committee concludes that it is unlikely that productive scientific research (especially of an epidemiological nature) can ever be based on the data generated by the referral centers or the health registry as currently organized.