Rates of chronic medical conditions in 1991 Gulf war veterans compared to the general population

Clara G. Zundel, Maxine H. Krengel, Timothy Heeren, Megan K. Yee, Claudia M. Grasso, Patricia A. Janulewicz Lloyd, Steven S. Coughlin, Kimberly Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Prevalence of nine chronic medical conditions in the population-based Ft. Devens Cohort (FDC) of GW veterans were compared with the population-based 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cohort. Excess prevalence was calculated as the difference in prevalence estimates from the Ft. Devens and NHANES cohorts; and confidence intervals and p-values are based on the standard errors for the two prevalence estimates. FDC males were at increased risk for reporting seven chronic medical conditions compared with NHANES males. FDC females were at decreased risk for high blood pressure and increased risk for diabetes when compared with NHANES females. FDC veterans reporting war-related chemical weapons exposure showed higher risk of high blood pressure; diabetes; arthritis and chronic bronchitis while those reporting taking anti-nerve gas pills had increased risk of heart attack and diabetes. GW veterans are at higher risk of chronic conditions than the general population and these risks are associated with self-reported toxicant exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number949
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2 2019


  • Chemical weapons
  • Chronic conditions
  • Fort devens cohort
  • Gulf war
  • Gulf war illness
  • Pyridostigmine bromide
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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