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Gulf War and Health: Volume 1. Depleted Uranium, Sarin, Pyridostigmine Bromide, Vaccines
common diagnostic categories, together accounting for more than 50 percent of primary diagnoses (CDC, 1999).
Registry programs provided an early glimpse into veterans’ symptoms and the difficulties of fitting symptoms into standard diagnoses. As self-selected case series of veterans who presented for care, registries cannot, and were not intended to, be representative of the symptoms and illnesses of the entire group of Gulf War veterans. Nor were registries designed with control groups or with diagnostic standardization across the multiple sites at which examinations took place (Joseph, 1997; Roy et al., 1998). Finally, owing to their reliance on stan-
TABLE 2.2 Most Frequent Symptoms and Diagnoses Among 53,835 Participants in the VA Registry (1992–1997)
Symptoms or Diagnoses
Muscle, joint pain
Loss of memory
Shortness of breath
Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms
Other symptoms involving skin
No medical diagnosis
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue
Skin and subcutaneous tissue
Injury and poisoning
SOURCE: Murphy et al., 1999.
coded elsewhere in ICD-9-CM or without a distinct physiological or psychological basis (U.S. DHHS, 1998).