Millions of dollars were authorized to fund a series of
epidemiological studies to see whether Gulf War servicemen were being
hospitalized at a higher rate than normal...to find out if they were dying at a
higher rate than expected....and to examine whether their children were having
an increased rate of birth defects.
The first thorough epidemiological studies began to appear in the
medical journals. They were studies comparing troops who served in the Gulf
with troops who didn't. The results of the studies were:
* Gulf War vets were not dying from disease at a higher rate than expected,
although more had died in car accidents - something that has been found after
* Gulf War vets weren't being hospitalized at a higher rate than military
servicemen who didn't go to the Gulf
* A large study showed that babies being born to Gulf War vets had no higher
rate of birth defects.
For details, link below to the abstracts of these studies published
in the New England Journal of Medicine:
Did service in the Gulf War cause an increased rate of birthdefects
among the children of those veterans? Claims have been made that it did and
media accounts - such as the cover story in Life Magazine on the Hanson family-
fostered such a belief.
Here is the summary
of a major study
on the risk of birth defects among veterans' children which found no evidence
of an increase.
Have Gulf War veterans been dying in higher than normal numbers from disease
compared to those who didn't serve in the war?
"Mortality among U.S.
Veterans of the Persian Gulf War"
is a study which
concludes that they aren't. There was a significantly higher motality rate,
but most of the increase was due to accidents, not disease.
"The Postwar Hospitalization Experience of U.S. Veterans of the
Persian Gulf War" is a
study which showed the ratio for Gulf veterans' hospitalization was not higher
than that of other veterans.