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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 094-02
February 28, 2002

DOD, VA TO ANALYZE RAW GULF WAR DATA

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., announced today that the Department of Defense is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to analyze raw data recently released by the VA regarding veterans who served near Khamisiyah in Iraq after the end of the Gulf War.

The information was derived from a VA report released on Feb. 21 examining compensation and pensions of select veterans, and suggested a higher number of deaths for some Gulf War veterans.

"It's important to understand what the numbers mean, particularly since they suggest conclusions strongly different from recently published research on this question [American Journal of Epidemiology, September 2001 (Link no longer available.)]," said Winkenwerder.

"The Department will work with the VA using valid scientific methods to determine if there is any relationship between Gulf War service in the Khamisiyah region and any illnesses or deaths."

Previouly released reports concerning Khamisiyah and other information can be found at http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/narr_index.html.