GULF SYNDROME . . . VETS SUFFER FROM MANY AILMENTS

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The overwhelming majority of ailing Gulf War vets are probably suffering from identifiable ailments, not a distinct disease that could be the mysterious Gulf War Syndrome, the Pentagon said today. Exams of more than 1,000 Persian Gulf vets -- who thought they had a "syndrome" -- revealed that about 85 percent of those participating were found to be suffering from identifiable illnesses. About 6 percent of the 697,000 who served reported mysterious sickness, leading to the Gulf War syndrome speculation. "The broad spread of symptoms and diagnoses that we're finding points very strongly away from there being a single illness or disease," said Dr. Stephen Joseph, assistant Defense secretary for health affairs. But the government hasn't concluded that there isn't a war-related syndrome: Pentagon doctors couldn't diagnose 15 percent of the first batch studied, and they say an as-yet-undetected pattern in symptoms could emerge as a bona fide "syndrome," as distinct from a disease.Post your opinion on theHealth & Medecinebulletin board.