Occurrence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among Gulf War veterans

Ronnie D. Horner, K. G. Kamins, J. R. Feussner, S. C. Grambow, J. Hoff-Lindquist, Y. Harati, H. Mitsumoto, R. Pascuzzi, P. S. Spencer, R. Tim, D. Howard, T. C. Smith, M. A.K. Ryan, C. J. Coffman, E. J. Kasarskis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

246 Scopus citations


Background: In response to Gulf War veterans' concerns of high rates of ALS, this investigation sought to determine if Gulf War veterans have an elevated rate of ALS. Methods: A nationwide epidemiologic case ascertainment study design was used to ascertain all occurrences of ALS for the 10-year period since August 1990 among active duty military and mobilized Reserves, including National Guard, who served during the Gulf War (August 2, 1990, through July 31, 1991). The diagnosis of ALS was confirmed by medical record review. Risk was assessed by the age-adjusted, average, annual 10-year cumulative incidence rate. Results: Among approximately 2.5 million eligible military personnel, 107 confirmed cases of ALS were identified for an overall occurrence of 0.43 per 100,000 persons per year. A significant elevated risk of ALS occurred among all deployed personnel (RR = 1.92; 95% CL = 1.29, 2.84), deployed active duty military (RR = 2.15, 95% CL = 1.38, 3.36), deployed Air Force (RR = 2.68, 95% CL = 1.24, 5.78), and deployed Army (RR = 2.04; 95% CL = 1.10, 3.77) personnel. Elevated, but nonsignificant, risks were observed for deployed Reserves and National Guard (RR = 2.50; 95% CL = 0.88, 7.07), deployed Navy (RR = 1.48, 95% CL = 0.62, 3.57), and deployed Marine Corps (RR = 1.13; 95% CL = 0.27, 4.79) personnel. Overall; the attributable risk associated with deployment was 18% (95% CL = 4.9%, 29.4%). Conclusions: Military personnel who were deployed to the Gulf Region during the Gulf War period experienced a greater post-war risk of ALS than those who were deployed to the Gulf.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-749
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 23 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Occurrence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among Gulf War veterans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this