Assessing the Potential Health Impact of the Gulf War on Saudi Arabia National Guard Members

This study, initiated in 1999, involved a collaborative effort of health researchers from the United States (U.S. Department of Defense and CDC) and Saudi Arabia. The team examined hospitalization data for 15,612 Saudi Arabia National Guard (SANG) troops. The goal of this study was to compare hospitalization rates and health outcomes among a group of SANG soldiers who were stationed in a combat area in January 1991 (Al Khafji) with soldiers who were stationed in a non-combat area (Riyadh). The investigators identified 148 SANG soldiers who had at least one hospitalization between 1991 and 1999. The adjusted rate of hospitalization was higher in the combat-exposed group (risk ratio = 1.80, 95% confidence interval = 1.25–2.59). No unusual patterns of diagnoses were found. Because the overall number of hospitalizations was low, the absolute difference in risk was found to be very small.


Gackstetter DG, Hooper TI, Al Qahtani MS, Smith TC, Memish ZA, Schlangen KM, et al.. Assessing the potential health impact of the 1991 Gulf War on Saudi Arabian National Guard Soldiers. International Journal of Epidemiology 2005 (in press).

Hooper TI, Smith TC, Gray GC, Al Qahtani MS, Memish ZA, Barrett DH, et al. Saudi-United States collaboration in health research: An approach for success. American Journal of Infection Control 2005;33:192–6.

Page last reviewed: October 29, 2010 (archived document)