We studied 1991 Gulf War (GW)-related environmental exposures and adverse birth outcomes in Iraqis. A random cross-sectional sample of 307 Iraqi families that immigrated to the United States responded to a structured interview covering socioeconomics, lifestyle, environmental exposures, and birth outcome. Data per each family was collected either from the man or the woman in the respective family. The respondents were divided into those that resided in Iraq during and following the GW (post-GW, n=185) and those that had left before (pre-GW, n=122). The primary outcome was lifetime prevalence of adverse birth outcomes, ie, congenital anomalies, stillbirth, low birth weight, and preterm delivery and its relationship to GW exposures. Mean number of adverse birth outcomes increased from 3.43 (SD=2.11) in the pre-GW to 4.63 (SD=2.63) in the post-GW group (P<.001). Mean chemical (Ch) and nonchemical (NCh) environmental exposure scores increased from pre-GW scores of 0.38 units (SD=1.76) and 0.43 (SD=1.86), respectively, to post-GW scores of 5.65 units (SD=6.23) and 7.26 (SD=5.67), P<.001 between groups for both exposures. There was a significant dose-response relationship between Ch environmental exposure (P=.001), but not NCh exposure, and number of adverse birth outcomes. Exposure to burning oil pits and mustard gas increased the risks for specific adverse birth outcomes by 2 to 4 times. Results indicate that Gulf War Ch, but not NCh exposures are related to adverse birth outcomes. Pregnancies in women with a history of war exposures might benefit from more intensive observation.
2013. 58-65 p.