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First Study of War-Related Mental Disorders Among Iraqis 10 Years Post-Gulf War Published by Researchers at Wayne State University and Basrah University, Iraq
Date:11/7/2008

DETROIT, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of researchers from Wayne State University, in collaboration with Basrah Medical College in Basrah, Iraq, released a study published in The New Iraqi Journal of Medicine today on war-related mental health disorders among Iraqis ten years after the Gulf War.

Bengt B. Arnetz, Ph.D., professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University led the team of researchers to conduct a mental health study among Iraqi soldiers and civilians who are still residing in Iraq that were exposed to sustained socio-environmental stress since the Gulf War. Prior studies have been confined to Allied forces that have had a number of important confounding factors including deployed soldiers who were not accustomed to the Gulf War's geographical, ethnic, cultural and microbial characteristics, as well as the desert climate.

Following the Gulf War, veterans were returning to their native countries with increased mental and somatic symptoms, similarly being reported by soldiers deployed in recent conflicts. Previous studies have noted that the Gulf War appears to have resulted in a higher prevalence of medical symptoms with a longer duration, although no consensus as to the underlying reason for elevated psychological symptoms exists.

The researchers aimed to determine whether mental health disorders differ between Iraqi soldiers deployed during the Gulf War as compared to Iraqi civilians. It also studied whether soldiers deployed closer to the war epicenter exhibited more mental health disorders as compared to soldiers deployed further away.

The study concludes that Iraqi soldiers that took part in the Gulf War face many of the same mental health disorders that plague Allied soldiers, and exhibited significantly more mental disorders than civilians. Those soldiers closest to Kuwait were at a higher risk which suggests a link to war-specific environmental e
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SOURCE Wayne State University
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