Mil Med 2001 Jun;166(6):510-9
Health-related quality of life in Persian Gulf War Veterans.

 Proctor SP, Harley R, Wolfe J, Heeren T, White RF.

 Boston Environmental Hazards Center, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare
 System, Boston, MA, USA.

 OBJECTIVE: The objective of this investigation is to describe the health-related quality of life of Persian Gulf War (GW) veterans and to examine the effects of current chronic medical conditions and psychiatric status on physical functioning.

METHODS: To measure health-related quality of life, the Medical Outcomes Short Form Survey (SF36) was administered approximately 4 years after the GW to a stratified, random sample of New England-area GW-deployed veterans and a group of military personnel deployed to Germany during the GW. The SF36 scores for the GW-deployed study population (N = 141) were compared with those for the Germany-deployed group (N = 46) and with published U.S. population norms. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors associated with lower physical health functioning in the GW-deployed study group.

RESULTS: Functional health status was significantly lower in the GW-deployed group compared with the Germany-deployed group for each of the SF36 subscales and the two summary scores (Physical Component Summary [PCS] and Mental Component Summary). Compared with the general U.S. population, the GW-deployed group median was between the 25th and 50th percentile for the Physical Functioning subscale and the PCS score. Within the GW-deployed group, lower education, psychological symptomatology, and a higher number of chronic self-reported medical conditions were significant predictors of the PCS score.

CONCLUSION: GW-deployed veterans report lower functional health status compared with a group of Germany-deployed veterans and published general U.S. population norms. Within the group of GW-deployed veterans, several current medical and psychological conditions predictive of lower physical functioning levels were identified.

 PMID: 11413729 [PubMed - in process]