VA to Survey Gulf War Veterans' Health
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America's Veterans


WASHINGTON (Dec. 15, 2003) -- Veterans of the first Gulf War recently received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) asking them to take part in a survey about their health.

"We are committed to finding answers for veterans who still suffer from a variety of symptoms and illnesses resulting from their service in the first Gulf War," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi. "With soldiers returning every day from operations there, pursuing these answers remains a top priority."

The survey, called the Longitudinal Health Study of Gulf War Era Veterans, is a follow-up to one conducted in 1995-1996 on the health of 30,000 veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War.

A letter signed by Principi was sent to veterans explaining the study's purpose and procedures for enrolling and encouraging their participation, whether or not they took part in the original survey or served in the Gulf War theater.

Participation is voluntary. Veterans fill out a detailed survey with questions about general health, functional status, chronic medical conditions, unexplained multi-symptom illnesses, doctor and hospital visits and treatments. All information is confidential.

Dr. Han K. Kang, director of VA's environmental epidemiology service, who conducted the earlier study, will lead the research effort.