Fatal motor vehicle crashes among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War and exposure to munitions demolitions at Khamisiyah: A nested case-control study

Authors

  • Gary D. Gackstetter DVM, MPH, PhD,

    1. Center for Force Health Protection Studies, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
    Current affiliation:
    1. Currently Principal Scientist at Analytic Services, Inc. (ANSER), Arlington, Virginia.
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  • Tomoko I. Hooper MD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Force Health Protection Studies, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Center for Force Health Protection Studies, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Rm. A1040G; Bethesda, MD 20814-4799.
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  • Samar F. DeBakey MD, MPH,

    1. Health Research and Analysis, LLC, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Amy Johnson MPH,

    1. Health Research and Analysis, LLC, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Barbara E. Nagaraj MPH,

    1. Health Research and Analysis, LLC, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Jack M. Heller PhD,

    1. Deployment Environmental Surveillance Program, U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland
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  • Han K. Kang DrPH

    1. War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, District of Columbia
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  • This article is a US Government work and, as such is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Abstract

Background

A proposed explanation for the observed higher risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes (MVC) among 1991 Gulf War-deployed veterans is neurocognitive deficits resulting from nerve agent exposure at Khamisiyah, Iraq. Our objective was to assess any association between postwar fatal MVC and possible nerve agent exposure based on 2000 modeled plume data.

Methods

Cases were defined as MVC deaths with a record in the Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System through 1995. Cases (n = 282) and controls (n = 3,131) were derived from a larger nested case-control study of Gulf War-era veterans and limited to Army, male, deployed personnel. Exposure and cumulative dose by case-control status were analyzed using multivariate techniques.

Results

Exposure status was not associated with fatal MVC (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.72–1.26), nor were tertiles of cumulative dose.

Conclusions

Findings do not support an association between possible exposures at Khamisiyah and postwar fatal MVC among Gulf War veterans. Am. J. Ind. Med. 49:261–270, 2006. Published 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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