Military Study Links ’91 Gulf War Vets and Birth Defects


Researchers found the infants born to male veterans of the war had higher rates of two types of heart valve defects. They also found a higher rate of a genital urinary defect in boys conceived after the war to Gulf War veteran mothers.

Also, Gulf War veterans’ children born after the war had a certain kidney defect that was not found in Gulf War veterans’ children born before the war.

The researchers said they did not have enough information to link the birth defects to possible exposures to poisonous substances, which many Gulf War veterans suspect are culprits of their mysterious illnesses.

The study by the Department of Defense Naval Health Research Center and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined data from 1989-93.

In all, researchers identified 11,961 children born to Gulf War veterans and 33,052 children of veterans who had not been deployed in the Gulf. Of those, 450 had mothers who served in the Gulf.

In postwar-conceived infants of male Gulf War veterans, researchers found 10 infants with tricuspid valve insufficiency, a 2.7 percent higher rate, and five with aortic valve spinosis, 6 percent higher.

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