TABLE 2.1 Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Gulf War Troops

Characteristic

Percentage of Troopsa

Gender

 

Male

93

Female

7

Age (mean) in 1991 (years)

27

Race or ethnicity

 

White

70

African American

23

Hispanic

5

Other

2

Rank

 

Enlisted

90

Officer

10

Military branch

 

Army

50

Navy

23

Marines

15

Air Force

12

Military status

 

Active duty

83

Reserves or National Guard

17

aThere were approximately 697,000 U.S. military personnel.

SOURCE: Joseph, 1997.

identical set of symptoms was reported most frequently among the approximately 20,000 participants in the DoD registry (CDC, 1999). Veterans classified in the DoD registry as having “signs, symptoms, and ill-defined conditions” most frequently complained of fatigue, headache, and memory loss (Roy et al., 1998). Clinicians were able to arrive at a primary diagnosis for about 82 percent of symptomatic DoD registry participants (Joseph, 1997) and for a similar fraction of VA registry participants (Murphy et al., 1999) (Table 2.2). A registry program established by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence for U.K. Gulf War veterans found similar types and frequencies of symptoms and diagnoses (Coker et al., 1999). Across the registries, musculoskeletal diseases; mental disorders; and symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions5 were the three most

5  

“Symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions” refers to International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Classical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes 780–799, which are reserved for 160 subclassifications of ill-defined, common conditions not



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement