Environmental exposure and health of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans.


OBJECTIVE We characterized the prevalence of self-reported environmental exposures, concerns about exposures, and their relationships with somatic symptoms in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) (OIF) veterans seeking treatment at a specialty Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic. Concerns about environmental exposures were expected to lead to more reporting of somatic symptom burden. METHODS We conducted a chart review of 469 OEF/OIF veterans seen at a VA tertiary care clinic. RESULTS OEF/OIF veterans reported a high level of environmental exposures and concerns about environmental exposures. Greater reported environmental exposures (β = 0.13) and environmental exposure concerns (β = 0.39) were associated with a greater somatic symptom burden. Exposure concerns accounted for some of the relationship of exposures on somatic symptom burden (confidence interval, 0.33-0.60). CONCLUSIONS OEF/OIF veterans seeking treatment at a VA clinic reported a high prevalence of environmental exposures and exposure concerns. Both negatively impacted health outcomes.

DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318255ba1b

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@article{McAndrew2012EnvironmentalEA, title={Environmental exposure and health of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans.}, author={Lisa M. McAndrew and Ron F Teichman and Omowunmi Y O Osinubi and Jessica V Jasien and Karen S. Quigley}, journal={Journal of occupational and environmental medicine}, year={2012}, volume={54 6}, pages={665-9} }