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Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Prone to Developing Chronic Multisymptom Illness

Posted on July 14, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Chronic multisymptom illness, or CMI, is a health condition indicated by several medically unexplained symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Joint pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Issues with cognition

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) recently published a report on CMI in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. The report indicated veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are prone to developing the condition.

CMI is similar to the set of unexplained symptoms Gulf War veterans experienced, referred to as Gulf War Illness. Researchers are still attempting to determine if the CMI seen in Iraq veterans is the same as the Gulf War veterans’ condition.

In the study of 319 Iraq veterans, approximately 50 percent had mild to moderate CMI symptoms while 11 percent had severe symptoms. All veterans who screened positive for CMI showed lower measures of physical and mental health function.

The veterans also underwent screening for PTSD, and almost all of those with PTSD showed signs of CMI symptoms. However, not all of the veterans with CMI also screened positive for PTSD. Lisa McAndrew, lead author of the study, pointed out that CMI is not the same as PTSD or depression and that it “contributes to significant disability.”

Veterans with Chronic Multisymptom Illness May Be Entitled to Seek Disability Benefits

The VA classifies most health conditions that resulted from your military service as a disabling condition. Disability Help Group assists veterans with filing for benefits and appealing decisions by the VA.

Contact us at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates!