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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-25

Impacts of mustard gas exposure on veterans mental health: A study on the role of education


1 Department of Psychiatry, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Neurology, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Health Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 Chemical Injuries Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Mollasadra St, Vanak Sq, Tehran; Atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Research Centre, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Vali-e-Asr Hospital, Ghaffari St, Birjand, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Nematollah Jonaidi-Jafari
Health Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Mollasadra St, Vanak Sq, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.123604

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Background: The mustard gas (MG) exposure can impair physical health and therefore increase the probability of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychological disorders. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate long-term effects of MG exposure on veterans' mental health. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. In order to assess prevalence of mental health and PTSD of 100 MG victims 25 years after the exposure to MG in Iran-Iraq conflict, the general health questionnaire (GHQ-28) and Impact of Event Scale-Revised, respectively was administered. Results: The mean (±standard deviation (SD)) age of participants was 40.63 (±5.86) years. The mean GHQ-28 (47.34) of the study group was higher compared to standardized cutoff point (23) of the Iranian community. Also, it was found that 38 participants (38%) suffer from PTSD. The results of this study showed that academic education in the PTSD group was less than that in the non-PTSD group (P=0.03). In addition, in multivariate analysis it was found that only education level of the veterans and their wives were effective on the mental health score (adjusted P=0.036 and 0.041, respectively). The mean score of depression and psychosocial activity subscale in patients at higher education level was lower than patients at lower education level (P<0.05). Conclusion: This study found that sulfur mustard (SM) exposure can be effect on mental health even 25 years after exposure. Therefore, the psychological state should be more considered in chemical injured veterans and it is important that providing more mental health centers for this community.


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