Birth Defects among 788 Children Born to Gulf War Veterans Based on Physical Examination

Marwan S. Shinawi, Renee Alpern, Rosemary Toomey, Diane S. Dannenfeldt, Domenic J. Reda, Melvin Blanchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective:The aim of the study was to examine the prevalence of birth defects among children born to Gulf War veterans.Methods:Seven hundred eighty-eight singleton children born after the war to 522 veterans (262 Gulf War-deployed, DV; 260 non-deployed, NDV) underwent physical examinations focusing on major and minor birth defects and other findings.Results:We found no differences between children of DV and NDV in the prevalence of major birth defects or other findings. However, children of DV women were more likely to have minor birth defects compared with children of NDV women (DV 22% NDV 4.8%, odds ratio: 5.47, confidence interval: 2.06, 14.55), mainly due to increased incidence of minor eye and musculoskeletal birth defects.Conclusions:Our data show that deployment of women to the Persian Gulf arena was associated with increased risk of minor birth defects in their offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • congenital anomalies
  • gulf war
  • major birth defects
  • minor birth defects
  • teratogenic agents
  • veterans
  • veterans affairs


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