The authors assessed changes in the health status of US 1991 Gulf War-era veterans from a 1995 baseline survey to a 2005 follow-up survey, using repeated measurement data from 5,469 deployed Gulf War veterans and 3,353 nondeployed Gulf War-era veterans who participated in both surveys. Prevalence differences in health status between the 2 surveys were estimated for adverse health indices and chronic diseases for each veteran group. Persistence risk ratios and incidence risk ratios were calculated after adjustment for demographic and military service characteristics through Mantel-Haenszel stratified analysis. At 10-year follow-up, deployed veterans were more likely to report persistent poor health, as measured by the health indices (functional impairment, limitation of activities, repeated clinic visits, recurrent hospitalizations, perception of health as fair or poor, chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness, and posttraumatic stress disorder), than nondeployed veterans. Additionally, deployed veterans were more likely to experience new onset of adverse health (as measured by the indices) and certain chronic diseases than were nondeployed veterans. During the 10-year period from 1995 to 2005, the health of deployed veterans worsened in comparison with nondeployed veterans because of a higher rate of new onset of various health outcomes and greater persistence of previously reported adverse health on the indices.
- Gulf War
- health status
- longitudinal studies
- stress disorders, post-traumatic