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Gulf War research panel finds 1 in 4 veterans suffers from illness caused by toxic exposure
Date:11/17/2008

r than veterans of other wars," the Committee wrote.

The report concludes: "A renewed federal research commitment is needed to achieve the critical objectives of improving the health of Gulf War veterans and preventing similar problems in future deployments. This is a national obligation, made especially urgent by the many years that Gulf War veterans have waited for answers and assistance."

Panel Chairman James H. Binns, a former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, said the report "provides a blueprint for the new Administration to focus resources on improving the health of Gulf War veterans and avoiding similar consequences in future military deployments."

Committee Scientific Director Roberta White, PhD, associate dean for research at Boston University's School of Public Health, stated: "Veterans of the first Gulf War have been plagued by ill health since their return 17 years ago. Although the evidence for this health phenomenon is overwhelming, veterans repeatedly find that their complaints are met with cynicism and a 'blame the victim' mentality that attributes their health problems to mental illness or non-physical factors."

White said the Committee's findings "clearly substantiate veterans' beliefs that their health problems are related to exposures experienced in the Gulf theatre. It provides a state-of-the-art review of knowledge about Gulf War veterans' health concerns that can guide clinicians and researchers, and offers a scientific rationale for the new Administration to further our understanding of these health problems -- most importantly, by funding treatment trials to develop effective treatments of the veterans' symptoms."

Large numbers of British Gulf War veterans also are ill. "Recognition of the full extent of the illnesses suffered by these veterans of the conflict and the obligation owed to them is long overdue," said Marshal of The Royal Air Force Lord David Craig, Chief of the Defe
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Contact: Lisa Chedekel
chedekel@bu.edu
617-414-1401
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

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