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Is there research linking the Gulf War and rheumatoid arthritis?

I was in the first Gulf War. Retired in 2002. RA reared its ugly head in 2010.

I'm fighting with the VA to get a service connection (for six years now). It seems to me like "Gulf War Syndrome" and RA (or other autoimmune diseases) have really similar symptoms.

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  1. Hi, thank you so much for your service, and I am so sorry to hear you have been dealing with RA for over 10 years now. I have also heard the similarities between "Gulf War Syndrome" and RA, but of course, I cannot say if one caused the other. I think it would be interesting to ask your doctor (depending on their age), if they actually experienced patients during that time that served in the Gulf War and were diagnosed with RA. Here is a link of a study that was done in 1998.

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/191436

    Grady EP, Carpenter MT, Koenig CD, Older SA, Battafarano DF. Rheumatic Findings in Gulf War Veterans. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(4):367–371. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.4.367

    1. Thank-You Ms. Blackmon!

      1. You’re so welcome!

        1. Hi Fordownr. On top of the excellent information from Randi, I want to share with you this article discussing Gulf War illnesses as autoimmune conditions: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11425278/. You may also want to note the additional articles cited at the end of the abstract. In addition, this article looks at Gulf War Illness and inflammation (particularly CRP), which is the hallmark of autoimmune conditions: https://www.jneurology.com/articles/gulf-war-illness-and-inflammation-association-of-symptom-severity-with-creactive-protein.html. Hope this information is helpful and please feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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