Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Daniel Caldwell, PhD


Persian Gulf Veterans' Illnesses (PGVI) consists of multiple illnesses with overlapping symptoms and causes. This research examined health effects literature concerning several occupational chemicals, to identify significant adverse health trends and assess research quality, completeness, and relevance. After compiling this knowledge base, the research focus was narrowed to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), solvents, and pyridostigmine bromide (PB). The existing data was analyzed and compared to PGVI health data using the nonparametric statistical method of contingency table analysis to prove or disprove a link between the substance and PGVI. The results of the contingency table analysis were used to make inferences concerning the relationship between the substances and PGVI. Results indicate there are many current data gaps concerning health effects from exposure to occupational chemicals. There was a statistically significant relationship between the symptom frequencies of CFS and PGVI, but not for solvents or for PB. These results suggest that CFS should be further examined as a possible related diagnosis for PGVI. Further research in this area should probably not be spent looking into solvents, as there was no association with the symptom frequencies of PGVI. PB should be examined at a synergistic agent in combination with other chemicals.

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