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Establishing a 1991 Veterans Research Network To Improve Characterization of Gulf War Illness and Provide a National Resource for Veterans and Investigators

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Annual rept. 1 Sep 2013-31 Aug 2014

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Despite considerable research on health issues affecting the nearly 700,000 U.S. veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, fundamental questions and challenges remain. There is still no widely-accepted case definition for Gulf War illness GWI and little current information related to its characteristics. Nor has there been a comprehensive assessment of rates of more familiar diagnosed medical conditions. Gulf War veterans many still looking for answers about unexplained health problems have been anxious to participate in studies, while researchers commonly report enormous difficulty identifying adequate numbers of Gulf War veterans for their studies. This project addresses these challenges with a coordinated research effort. Investigators at Baylor University are using a multifaceted survey research strategy to obtain current information on symptoms and medical conditions from a nationally representative sample of 5,000 1991 Gulf War era veterans. These data will be used to optimize a GWI case definition, based on current symptoms, and to provide insights concerning rates of other medical conditions in Gulf War veterans. Parallel to this effort, the project is inviting a broad national sample of Gulf War era veterans to complete health questionnaires by mail or online, and to participate in the 1991 Veterans Research and Information Network 91VetNet, a national research and information resource for Gulf War era veterans and for investigators.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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