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Reduced bone formation in UK Gulf War veterans: a bone histomorphometric study
  1. N F W Blatchley,
  2. H A Lee,
  3. J P G Bolton
  1. The Baird Health Centre, Gassiot House, St Thomas’s Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK;

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    We read the paper by Compston et al on bone loss in Gulf veterans1 with concern and interest. However, if taken to represent the problems of unwell Gulf veterans it is open to serious misinterpretation because of problems in design, factual accuracy, and certain conjectures.

    The 17 cases are potential litigants who are highly unlikely to be representative of the Gulf veteran population. Apart from very brief sociodemographic details, smoking and alcohol consumption histories, no clinical information is given about the indications for bone biopsy except that 16 complained of unspecified arthralgia and other musculoskeletal symptoms. The 13 controls were taken from a study, reported …

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