Panel recommends VA take recent veterans’ health complaints seriously

Combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan may be suffering from a similar set of symptoms as those dubbed “Gulf War Syndrome” 20 years ago, including depression, pain, and chronic fatigue, according to a January 23, 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine. The Board on the Health of Select Populations, which includes K. “Vish” Viswanath, associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health, concluded that while there is no good single treatment for what they call chronic multisymptom illness (CMI), the Department of Veterans Affairs should take the problem seriously and proactively seek to help veterans who are suffering.

“We hope that our recommendations will make a difference in the lives of people who have CMI,” the authors write. “It is clear that this condition has adversely affected the health and well-being of a substantial number of our veterans and their families.”

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