Late pulmonary function abnormalities are common among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans

Pulmonary function abnormalities may be a precursor to chronic respiratory disease in Iraq/Afghanistan and Gulf War veterans years after their deployment, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

"Previous studies of Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans have found persistent respiratory symptoms decades after their deployment but have not always detected clinically significant pulmonary abnormalities," said lead author Michael Falvo, PhD, a research physiologist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' New Jersey War Related Illness and Injury Study Center. "In our study, however, we found evidence of small airway obstruction and other pulmonary abnormalities in many deployed veterans."

Small airway obstruction may lead to asthma, COPD, or other .

The retrospective study included 63 Gulf War veterans approximately 20 years post-deployment and 70 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans approximately 10 years post-deployment. Pulmonary function abnormalities were assessed with spirometry. Among the Gulf War veterans, the rate of small airway obstruction was five times greater (38% vs. 7%) than that seen in a reference group from an earlier population-based sample of Gulf War veterans evaluated 10-years post-deployment, and the rate of restrictive lung physiology was two times greater (24% vs. 12%). Among the Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, the rate of small airway obstruction was also five times greater (31% vs. 7%). Rates of non-reversible airway obstruction were significantly lower in the study groups than in the reference sample.

"The veterans we evaluated exhibited unique spirometry patterns," said Dr. Falvo. "If confirmed in larger studies, these patterns may indicate a higher risk for progression to chronic respiratory disease and may allow for early intervention. Our laboratory is currently engaged in multiple studies, supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, to better understand mechanisms of respiratory symptoms in deployed ."

More information: Abstract 54486
Late Prevalence Of Pulmonary Function Abnormalities In Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans
Type: Scientific Abstract
Category: 01.20 - Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases (EOH)
Authors: M.J. Falvo1, O. Osinubi1, J.C. Klein1, L. Patrick DeLuca1, W.A. Smith2, D.A. Helmer1; 1Veterans Affairs NJ Health Care System - East Orange,
NJ/US, 2University of Memphis - Memphis, TN/US

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Obama addresses West Africans on facts about Ebola

7 hours ago

President Barack Obama urged West Africans on Tuesday to wear gloves and masks when caring for Ebola patients or burying anyone who died of the disease. He also discouraged the traditional burial practice ...

Gluten-free diet benefits asymptomatic EmA+ adults

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Asymptomatic individuals with endomysial antibodies (EmA) benefit from a gluten-free diet (GFD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Another US health worker infected with Ebola

7 hours ago

A third American health worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus while working with patients in West Africa, the Christian missionary group SIM said Tuesday.

UN implores all countries to help on Ebola

9 hours ago

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is 'losing the battle' against Ebola, while U.N. officials implored all countries to quickly step up their response by contributing health experts ...

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

14 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

User comments