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Sinusitis, Asthma, and Bronchitis in Recent Veterans

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veterans were 29% more likely to report that they were diagnosed with sinusitis compared to Veterans who were deployed elsewhere during OEF/OIF, according to a recent study.

Researchers found no significant difference in self-reported asthma or bronchitis between OEF/OIF Veterans and those that were deployed elsewhere during the same time period.

respiratory snapshot

Text version of infographic

Respiratory diseases among deployed Veterans versus non-deployed Veterans. Sinusitis findings show that deployed Veterans were 29% more likely to have been diagnosed with sinusitis during and after 2001 compared to non-deployed Veterans. For asthma and bronchitis, the study found no significant difference in asthma or bronchitis risk between deployed and non-deployed Veterans.

Percentages were as follows:

  • Asthma: 3.4% of non-deployed, 3.3% of deployed
  • Bronchitis: 5.3% of non-deployed, 5.9% of deployed
  • Sinusitis: 5.6% of non-deployed, 6.9% of deployed

Sinusitis: sinus infection, asthma: breathing disease, bronchitis: swelling of tubes leading to lungs

Findings from the New Generation Study

The findings are from the National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans, a long-term study on the health of 30,000 OEF/OIF Veterans and 30,000 Veterans from the same era who were not deployed. Read the abstract on respiratory diseases.

Read the abstract on a related article on lifetime prevalence of respiratory diseases and exposures among Veterans who served during OEF/OIF.

Health concerns?

Talk to your health care provider if you are concerned about respiratory illness.

VA offers a variety of health care benefits to eligible Veterans. Not enrolled in the VA health care system? Find out if you qualify. OEF/OIF/OND Veterans are eligible for VA health care for five years after leaving the military. There are other ways to qualify too, including by having a service-connected disability.

Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer

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