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Birth Deformities in Gulf War Vet's Kids

Researchers find that three types of birth defects are more common in the children of veterans
31 July 2003

Children of veterans of the first Gulf War are more likely to have three specific birth defects than those of soldiers who never served in the Gulf, a government study has found. Researchers found the infants born to male veterans of the 1991 war had higher rates of two types of heart valve defects. They also found a higher rate of a genital urinary defect in boys conceived after the war to Gulf War veteran mothers. In addition, Gulf War veterans' children born after the war had a certain kidney defect that was not found in Gulf War veterans' children born before the war. The researchers said they did not have enough information to link the birth defects to possible exposures to poisonous gases, pesticides and other toxic substances, which many Gulf War veterans suspect are culprits of their mysterious illnesses and their children's health problems. They also did not have access to parents' family histories and job exposures.

The study by the Department of Defense (Naval Health Research Center and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) examined birth defect data from 1989-93. The conditions found were hypospaedia, when boys born with the condition have urethra openings located in the middle or the back of the penis, tricuspid valve insufficiency, aortic valve spinosis and renal aegenisis.