Long-term Follow-up of Army Personnel Potentially Exposed to Chemical Warfare Agents

Type: Epidemiological Study
Topics: Military and Veterans Health
Board: Medical Follow-Up Agency

Activity Description

The long-term health effects of low level chemical warfare agent exposure are of considerable interest in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. This epidemiological study of the morbidity and mortality outcomes of military personnel potentially exposured to low levels of chemical warfare agents at Khamisiyah, Iraq was performed at the request of the Department of the Army. The health outcomes of troops putatively exposed during rocket demolition in 1991 were compared to those of a similar group of unexposed military personnel for a five-year follow-up period. Exposure levels were estimated based on environmental and climatological modeling of the chemical footprint, in combination with troop location data during the time of the demolition.

Specific objectives of the study were

  1. to compare morbidity and mortality outcome rates among Army personnel putatively exposed to chemical warfare agents and those not exposed using passive records-based methods; and
  2. to compare temporal trends in health perception and health care use before and after notification of possible chemical warfare agent exposure among Army personnel putatively exposed and those not-exposed.