Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine


Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry


Objective—Previous mortality studies of U.S. Gulf War veterans through 2000 and 2004 have shown an increased risk of brain cancer mortality among some deployed individuals. When veterans possibly exposed to environmental contaminants associated with demolition of the Khamisiyah Ammunition Storage Facility at Khamisiyah, Iraq, have been compared to contemporaneously deployed unexposed veterans, the results have suggested increased risk for mortality from brain cancer among the exposed. Brain cancer mortality risk in this cohort has not been updated since 2004. Methods—This study analyzes the risk for brain cancer mortality between 1991–2011 through two series of comparisons: U.S. Gulf War deployed and non-deployed veterans from the same era; and veterans possibly exposed to environmental contaminants at Khamisiyah compared to contemporaneously deployed but unexposed U.S. Gulf War veterans. Risk of brain cancer mortality was determined using logistic regression. Life test hazard models were created to plot comparisons of annual hazard rates. Joinpoint regression models were applied to assess trends in hazard rates for brain cancer mortality. Results—U.S. Army veterans possibly exposed at Khamisiyah had similar rates of brain cancer mortality compared to those not possibly exposed; however, veterans possibly exposed had a higher risk of brain cancer in the time period immediately following the Gulf War. Conclusion—Results from these analyses suggest that veterans possibly exposed at Khamisiyah experienced different patterns of brain cancer mortality risk compared to the other groups.

Source Citation

Barth SK, Dursa EK, Bossarte RM, Schneiderman AI. Trends in brain cancer mortality among U.S. Gulf War veterans: 21 year follow-up. Cancer Epidemiology. 2017;50:22-29. doi:10.1016/j.canep.2017.07.012