Skip to main content

Chronic Multisymptom Illness in Gulf War Veterans: Case Definitions Reexamined

View Cover

Purchase Options
Purchase Options MyNAP members save 10% online. Login or Register



More than 2 decades have passed since the 1990-1991 conflict in the Persian Gulf. During the intervening years, many Gulf War veterans have experienced various unexplained symptoms that many associate with service in the gulf region, but no specific exposure has been definitively associated with symptoms. Numerous researchers have described the pattern of signs and symptoms found in deployed Gulf War veterans and noted that they report unexplained symptoms at higher rates than nondeployed veterans or veterans deployed elsewhere during the same period. Gulf War veterans have consistently shown a higher level of morbidity than the nondeployed, in some cases with severe and debilitating consequences. However, efforts to define a unique illness or syndrome in Gulf War veterans have failed, as have attempts to develop a uniformly accepted case definition.

Chronic Multisymptom Illness in Gulf War Veterans is a comprehensive review of the available scientific and medical literature regarding symptoms for chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) among the 1991 Gulf War Veterans. This report evaluates and summarizes the literature in an effort to identify appropriate terminology to use in referring to CMI in Gulf War Veterans. While the report does not recommend one specific case definition over another, Chronic Multisymptom Illness in Gulf War Veterans does recommend the consideration of two case definitions on the basis of their concordance with the evidence and their ability to identify specific symptoms commonly reported by Gulf War veterans. This report recommends that the Department of Veterans Affairs use the term Gulf War illness rather than CMI. The report recommends that that the Department of Veterans Affairs, to the extent possible, systematically assess existing data to identify additional features of Gulf War illness, such as onset, duration, severity, frequency of symptoms, and exclusionary criteria to produce a more robust case definition.


Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine. 2014. Chronic Multisymptom Illness in Gulf War Veterans: Case Definitions Reexamined. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

130 pages |8.5 x 11
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-29876-6
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-29880-3

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press and the Transportation Research Board have partnered with Copyright Clearance Center to offer a variety of options for reusing our content. You may request permission to:

  • Republish or display in another publication, presentation, or other media
  • Use in print or electronic course materials and dissertations
  • Share electronically via secure intranet or extranet
  • And more

For most Academic and Educational uses no royalties will be charged although you are required to obtain a license and comply with the license terms and conditions.

Click here to obtain permission forChronic Multisymptom Illness in Gulf War Veterans: Case Definitions Reexamined.

Translation and Other Rights

For information on how to request permission to translate our work and for any other rights related query please click here. Customer Service

For questions about using the service, please contact:

Copyright Clearance Center
22 Rosewood Drive
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel (toll free): 855/239-3415 (select option 1)

Loading stats for Chronic Multisymptom Illness in Gulf War Veterans: Case Definitions Reexamined...