Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Chronic multisymptom illness among female Veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mohanty AF, Muthukutty A, Carter ME, Palmer MN, Judd J, Helmer D, McAndrew LM, Garvin JH, Samore MH, Gundlapalli AV. Chronic multisymptom illness among female Veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Medical care. 2015 Apr 1; 53(4 Suppl 1):S143-8.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) may be more prevalent among female Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) deployed Veterans due to deployment-related experiences. OBJECTIVES: To investigate CMI-related diagnoses among female OEF/OIF/OND Veterans. RESEARCH DESIGN: We estimated the prevalence of the International Classification of Disease-9th edition-Clinical Modification coded CMI-related diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia (FM), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among female OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with Veterans Health Administration (VHA) visits, FY2002-2012 (n = 78,435). We described the characteristics of female Veterans with and without CMI-related diagnoses and VHA settings of first CMI-related diagnoses. RESULTS: The prevalence of CMI-related diagnoses among female OEF/OIF/OND Veterans was 6397 (8.2%), over twice as high as the prevalence 95,424 (3.9%) among the totality of female Veterans currently accessing VHA (P < 0.01). There were statistically significant differences in age, education, marital status, military component, service branch, and proportions of those with depression and/or post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses across females with and without CMI-related diagnoses. Diagnoses were mainly from primary care, women's health, and physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics. CONCLUSIONS: CMI-related diagnoses were more prevalent among female OEF/OIF/OND Veterans compared with all female Veterans who currently access VHA. Future studies of the role of mental health diagnoses as confounders or mediators of the association of OEF/OIF/OND deployment and CMI are warranted. These and other factors associated with CMI may provide a basis for enhanced screening to facilitate recognition of these conditions. Further work should evaluate models of care and healthcare utilization related to CMI in female Veterans.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.