The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has released numerous literature reviews of Gulf War research.
Most of these reports include conclusions regarding the strength of association between deployment to the Gulf War or Gulf War exposures and particular health outcomes. The five categories are:
- Sufficient evidence of a causal relationship, that is, the evidence is sufficient to conclude that between being deployed to the Gulf War causes a health outcome.
- Sufficient evidence of an association; that is, a positive association has been observed between deployment to the Gulf War and a health outcome in humans.
- Limited/suggestive evidence of an association; that is, some evidence of an association between deployment to the Gulf War and a health outcome in humans exists.
- Inadequate/insufficient evidence to determine whether an association exists; that is, available studies are of insufficient quality, validity, consistency or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association.
- Limited/suggestive evidence of no association; that is, several adequate studies are consistent in not showing an association between deployment and a health outcome.
None of these NASEM panels have been allowed by their VA-contracted charter to include animal studies when making these strength of association conclusions. Additionally, many smaller pilot studies have also been similarly excluded. And, there are no presumed exposures for Gulf War veterans — just a long list passed by Congress for VA and NASEM to consider but none have yet been conceded for all Gulf War troops.
Not surprisingly, therefore, the Gulf War and Health series has not led to new presumptive conditions related to Gulf War Illness* for the purpose of VA service-connected disability claims. (*Note: In 2010, VA announced — based on the 2006 recommendations in Gulf War and Health, Volume 5 — that nine rare endemic infectious diseases would be presumptive for veterans with qualifying Southwest Asia or Afghanistan service.)
This complete list of all conditions considered by NAS in the Gulf War and Health series, comprising over 400 exposures, has been compiled by Veterans for Common Sense along with their NAS categories of association — essentially none* of which have been added as presumptive conditions for Gulf War veterans’ VA claims for service-connected disability compensation:
Conditions Associated with Gulf War exposures – consolidated NAS-IOM listing (Contact VCS for the Excel spreadsheet)
Presumptive conditions added from the Gulf War & Health series:
*None, save for 9 rare endemic infectious diseases, which affected very, very few Gulf War veterans, and for multi symptom illness conditions that had already been made presumptive by Congress.