The VA will presume service connection for CFS if you served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations at any time on or after August 2, 1990. The term chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) was first used following publication of a 1998 study[33] describing chronic unexplained symptoms in Air Force veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.[29]. I Am a Disabled Veteran; Am I Eligible for Disability Benefits? Visceral infection caused by Leishmania tropica in veterans of Operation Desert Storm. Similarly, we computed adjusted odds ratios and 95 percent confidence intervals for Gulf service status and CFS-like illness, adjusted for age, marital status, rank, and unit component. [9] However, the committee report does point out that veterans who received a larger number of various vaccines in advance of deployment have shown higher rates of persistent symptoms since the war. Furthermore, we evaluated the etiologic role of deployment-related stress on the development of these conditions. In 1995, the Department of Veterans Affairs initiated a health survey entitled “National Health Survey of Gulf War Era Veterans and Their Families,” designed to compare the health of a population-based, stratified random sample of 15,000 US troops deployed into the Gulf region with that of 15,000 troops deployed elsewhere (22). The subgroups of Gulf veterans who met the criteria for PTSD or CFS-like illness were compared with the total number of Gulf veteran respondents to determine whether these conditions were concentrated in particular demographic or military strata. "Acknowledging the presence of multiple symptoms and taking a holistic approach to achieving patient goals is critical in managing CMI," says McAndrew. The second is identifying a specific event during your military service that caused or contributed to the development of the condition. We developed a 6 × 2 table where the row variable, deployment-related stress, was ordinally scaled at six levels, ranging from minimal stress (not activated) to highest stress (deployed to the Gulf with three possible types of combat exposure); the column or response variable, CFS-like illness (or PTSD), was dichotomous and can be considered ordinal. Unrefreshing sleep. The proportions of these subgroups in the entire population of deployed troops were 7 percent, 7 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. Distribution of Gulf War veterans and non-Gulf-War veterans selected for a survey on post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness, by gender and unit component, 1990–1991, Characteristics of all Gulf War and non-Gulf-War veterans who participated in a survey on post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness and those deployed in the Gulf who met the criteria for illness, 1990–1991, Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness and associated odds ratios among veterans, by Gulf War service status, 1995–1997. [61] Very limited cancer data have been reported for U.S. Gulf War veterans in general, and no published research on cases occurring after 1999. To be considered to have CFS, a veteran also had to report having at least four of the following symptoms: sore throat, tender lymph nodes, headache, arthralgia, myalgia, unrefreshing sleep, and substantial problems with cognitive function, and to report that even minimal effort exacerbated the entire symptom complex. Nonresponses were handled by weighting responding units by the inverse of the probability of selection and response in the weighting stratum estimators. Jason LA, Richman JA, Rademaker AW, et al. It did not appear that self-perceived exposure to harmful situations in the Gulf theater or current health status contributed substantially to their decision as to whether or not to participate. [30][31], The use of organophosphate pesticides and insect repellents during the first Gulf War is credited with keeping rates of pest-borne diseases low. [67], In contrast to those early studies, in January 2006, a study led by Melvin Blanchard published in the Journal of Epidemiology, part of the "National Health Survey of Gulf War-Era Veterans and Their Families", found that veterans deployed in the Persian Gulf War had nearly twice the prevalence of chronic multisymptom illness, a cluster of symptoms similar to a set of conditions often at that time called Gulf War Syndrome. Cochran WG. A skilled VA disability attorney from Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD can help. Chronic fatigue syndrome; Fibromyalgia; Other undiagnosed illnesses, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, and headaches; Presumed disabilities. Some methods of strengthening the common χ2 tests. The effect that aging will have on this unique and vulnerable population remains a matter of significant concern, and population-based research to obtain a better understanding of mortality, morbidity, and symptomology over time is needed. Gender and other military characteristics did not predict the likelihood of veterans’ participation in the survey. These results are currently being expanded in a GWIRP-funded trial of a "mitochondrial cocktail" for GWI of CoQ10 plus a number of nutrients chosen to support cellular energy production and defend against oxidative stress. View more research on health effects of Gulf War service. Augerson WS. The significant relation between stressor intensity and PTSD leads to two conclusions: 1) that the existing case definition for PTSD adequately captures a stress-related behavioral syndrome and 2) that rates could be substantially higher in conflicts where stressor intensity and/or duration were greater than in the Gulf War. Evidence also continues to demonstrate that Gulf War illness is not the result of psychological stressors during the war." : Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by debilitating fatigue and several flu-like symptoms. To increase the anticipated low response rates typically associated with postal questionnaires, we kept the instrument relatively short; questions were simple and straightforward. What Are the Current VA Disability Compensation Rates for 2018? If you served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, you may suffer from illnesses or other conditions related to service in this region. Only seven patients had PTSD and did not meet the criteria for CMI. [19] In addition to the many physical and psychological issues involving any war zone deployment, Gulf War veterans were exposed to a unique mix of hazards not previously experienced during wartime. * Non-Gulf reserve or National Guard unit members who were not activated were defined as having “minimal” stress. Gulf War veterans’ health registries: who is most likely to seek evaluation? Studies have shown that it is more common for Gulf War Veterans in the Southwest Asia theater compared to non-Gulf War Veterans to develop CFS, but the reason for this remains unknown. After the air war started on January 16, 1991, coalition forces were chronically exposed to low but nonlethal levels of chemical and biological agents released primarily by direct Iraqi attack via missiles, rockets, artillery, or aircraft munitions and by fallout from allied bombings of Iraqi chemical warfare munitions facilities.[37]. Vary somewhat among individuals and include fatigue, headaches, cognitive dysfunction, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia, Toxic exposures during the 1990–91 Gulf War, 25% to 34% of the 697,000 U.S. troops of the 1990–91 Gulf War, This page was last edited on 6 November 2020, at 04:49. "[50], A 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine reviewed the peer-reviewed published medical literature for evidence regarding treatments for symptoms associated with chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) in 1990–91 Gulf War veterans, and in other chronic multisymptom conditions. The odds ratios and 95 percent confidence intervals indicated that the risks of both PTSD and CFS-like illness were significantly higher among Gulf veterans than among non-Gulf veterans. Below is a summary of epidemiologic studies of veterans displaying multisymptom illness and their exposure to suspect conditions from the 2008 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report. For more information about ME/CFS and its treatment see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The population prevalences are also presented in table 3 (PTSD: Gulf, 10.1 percent; non-Gulf, 4.2 percent; CFS-like illness: Gulf, 4.9 percent; non-Gulf, 1.2 percent). Participants were excluded if they had a diagnosis of or were being treated for any of several conditions that might otherwise explain their symptoms ("exclusionary criteria"), including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic infectious disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or any serious psychiatric condition. Get more resources at To estimate the confidence intervals of the prevalence rates and odds ratios, we used SUDAAN software, which provides consistent variance estimators for statistics derived from complex sample designs (27). [39], While low-level exposure to nerve agents has been suggested as the cause of GWI, the 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War illnesses (RAC) stated that "evidence is inconsistent or limited in important ways. "Respondents self-reported symptoms on pen and paper surveys. Chemical and biological warfare agents. If you served in the military and received a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome during or after your service, you might be eligible for VA disability benefits. For example, pain management may need to be tailored to account for other symptoms of CMI. Questionnaire items from the National Health Interview Survey were selected to evaluate limitation of activity, prevalence of chronic conditions, self-assessed health status, and use of medical services, including physician contacts and hospitalization (24). To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. (Available from the National Center for PTSD, Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130). Getting Veterans (VA) Disability for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. More recent medical literature reviews disagree, stating for example that, "the number of Gulf War veterans who developed the Gulf War syndrome following exposure to high quantities of DU has risen to about one-third of the 800,000 U.S. forces deployed," with 25,000 of those having suffered premature death. Please contact us first before going to any VA location. Experts aren't sure, though, if that condition is the same one that has emerged among more recent Veterans, as documented in the newest WRIISC study and one or two earlier ones. We consider these illnesses to be presumed disabilities: Learn more about disabilities that appear within one year after dischargeLearn more about presumed disabilities, You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation. If you qualify for a presumption of service connection for CFS due to serving in a designated area listed above, we do not need to provide a linking medical opinion. There were some differences in demographic and military characteristics when those who met the PTSD criteria were compared with all Gulf veterans. Rates of CFS-like illness did not change significantly for Gulf veterans in the more stressful situations related to combat. Our data allowed us to stratify across six progressively more intense levels of stress ranging from the minimal stress of serving at a home base to the most severe stress of being deployed to the Gulf and being involved in direct combat, being involved in a potential chemical warfare attack, and witnessing deaths. [52] However, VA's Public Health website still uses Gulf War veterans' medically unexplained illnesses, chronic multi-symptom illness (CMI), and undiagnosed illnesses, but explains that VA doesn't use the term Gulf War syndrome because of varying symptoms.

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