ONE in six veterans of the 1991conflict in Iraq believe they are suffering from Gulf War syndrome.
Researchers who sent questionnaires to more than 4,000 veterans found 17 per cent of those who responded thought the war had made them ill.
Symptoms include extreme fatigue, muscle pain, numbness, and psychological distress.
It has been blamed on exposure to chemicals or vaccination against biological weapons, but medical experts are still divided over whether the causes are physical or mental.
The survey, reported in the British Medical Journal, involved 2,961 responses.
They were asked about exposure to chemicals such as smoke from fires in oil wells and depleted uranium, and military stresses such as witnessing injured bodies or being under fire.
If the sample was representative, it meant that about 9,000 out of 53,000 British service personnel believed they had Gulf War syndrome.