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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

War Syndrome Clue

LONDON -- New research has found a link between multiple vaccines given to soldiers while they were deployed in the Gulf War and unexplained illnesses reported by thousands of veterans of the 1991 conflict with Iraq.

But some medical experts dismissed the findings, and even one of the researchers' colleagues warned that they "demand cautious interpretation."

The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, was based on 923 British Gulf War veterans who provided vaccine records and answered questionnaires for researchers at King's College at the University of London.

The researchers found veterans who had received simultaneous, multiple vaccinations after arriving in the Persian Gulf were up to five times more likely to report certain illnesses than soldiers who received their shots before deployment.

Their complaints included fatigue and psychological distress, and a feeling that their overall health and physical functioning were adversely affected - symptoms often associated with the controversial, unexplained condition known as Gulf War syndrome.

"The findings really suggest it is not the vaccines specifically themselves that are the problem. It is the circumstances in which they were given," said Dr. Matthew Hotopf, the study's lead author.