The VA and other organizations have conducted several studies into the health of Gulf War veterans, and researchers continue to examine the health issues, possible causes, and potential treatments for Gulf War veterans. The findings on the causes and treatments of the health conditions experienced by Gulf War veterans has been inconclusive, but the evidence is clear that service members who were deployed during the Gulf War have more health issues than other service members.
Health Issues for Gulf War Veterans
One study examined the health of Gulf War veterans deployed in 1991 fourteen years after their deployment. The study compared the health of deployed veterans with service members who were not deployed at that time. The study found that the deployed Gulf War veterans reported a higher prevalence of many adverse health outcomes compared to the control group. In particular, the deployed veterans reported higher rates of multi-symptom unexplained illnesses, chronic fatigue syndrome-like illnesses, PTSD, and other health conditions.
Another study also found that deployed veterans had more persistent health problems than non-deployed vets, indicated by functional impairment, recurrent hospital visits, chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness, PTSD, and other indicators. The study also found that deployed Gulf War vets were more likely to experience the onset of new health issues during the ten-year period of the survey.
Potential Causes of Gulf War Illnesses
In a 2011 report, the VA stated while there had been some findings of an association between exposure to PB, pesticides, nerve gas, and mixtures thereof, and chronic multi-symptoms illnesses, there had been other studies that did not find any association. Therefore, the VA declined to conclude that there was a definitive association between certain exposures and disabilities experienced by many Gulf War veterans.
The exact cause of Gulf War medically unexplained illnesses may not have been scientifically proven, but the VA has still found enough evidence to make certain diseases presumptive for Gulf War veterans.
Undiagnosed illnesses with a wide variety of symptoms may receive presumptive service connection for many Gulf War veterans. If you are a Gulf War veteran experiencing an unexplained illness, you should consider applying for VA benefits, or appealing your claim if you were previously denied.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and functional gastrointestinal disorders are also considered presumptive for Gulf War veterans.
Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick helps veterans around the country get the benefits they deserve. If your claim has been denied, or you believe you deserve a higher rating, contact us today for a no-cost consultation.