Monday, 25 July 2011

Unusual Breathing Disorders Detected in Veterans Returning from Afghanistan, Iraq

A new study blames unverified chemical toxins in the Middle East for a rare new breathing disorder that is being detected in many veterans who are returning from duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. The study, which has just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that many soldiers returning from combat zones are showing signs of breathing problems that are quite rare for otherwise healthy young adults.

The researchers evaluated about eighty soldiers who reported respiratory difficulties during exercise. The soldiers, who had returned from combat zones, were suddenly unable to meet the fitness standards that they easily met before their deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Several of the soldiers confirmed to the researchers that they had been exposed to smoke from a sulfur mine in Mosul, Iraq in 2003. However, not all the soldiers had been exposed to the smoke.

The researchers put the soldiers through physical and lung examinations and high resolution CT scans. Forty-nine of the soldiers were put through additional lung biopsies. All 49 biopsies showed abnormal results, and out of the 49, 38 showed signs of constrictive bronchitis. CT scans found that the soldiers with constructive bronchitis had nodules in their lungs. However, all of these veterans had normal chest x-rays.

The researchers are concluding that exposure to a variety of toxins in the Middle East has led to the development of a respiratory disorder that doesn't show up during normal diagnostic tests.

California veterans’ lawyers
know that it’s not unusual for veterans returning from combat to suffer from breathing problems. However, researchers have been at a loss to explain an increase in respiratory disorder symptoms, like shortness of breath even when there are no other underlying conditions, like asthma or allergic rhinitis.

No comments:

Post a Comment