Association found between anthrax vaccination, medication and health problems of Gulf War veterans

clined a little bit. We did find that those who recalled that they did receive an anthrax vaccination during the Gulf War, their health deteriorated about twice as fast as folks in similar circumstances who didn't have a recollection of receiving that shot. "

Schumm said researchers also found that many of the medical records or shot records of the veterans had been falsified or destroyed, making it virtually impossible to use clinical data to assess the impact of vaccinations or the pyridostigmine bromide pills. In addition, many veterans reported taking incorrect dosages of the pyridostigmine bromide pills, most taking too few with some taking far too many. Only 24 percent of those reporting their average daily consumption of pills actually took the recommended three pills a day.

"Without actual medical records, it is very difficult to prove causality," Schumm said. "It would be pretty easy to discount any one study by itself as an anomaly since each of the studies have their own unique limitations, but obtaining the same results across different nationalities and research teams would seem to indicate that something went wrong with the process at that time for at least some of the veterans. Personally, I think the best guess is that the mix of pyridostigmine bromide pills, multiple vaccinations in a brief period of time, and high levels of stress combined to adversely affect the health of individuals with genetic susceptibility to such combinations."

Schumm noted that their research confirms results reported previously by British, Canadian, and other U.S. research teams with respect to vaccinations and pyridostigmine bromide consumption. He is working on a critique of a report recently released by the Institute of Medicine, clearing anthrax vaccine of any connection to health problems. Schumm said that it is possible that the anthrax vaccine as given today may be safe while the product as manufactured and administered during the Gulf War i

Contact: Walter R. Schumm
Kansas State University

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