The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs depleted uranium exposed cohort at 25 Years: Longitudinal surveillance results

Melissa A. McDiarmid, Joanna M. Gaitens, Stella Hines, Marian Condon, Tracy Roth, Marc Oliver, Patricia Gucer, Lawrence Brown, Jose A. Centeno, Moira Dux, Katherine S. Squibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background A small group of Gulf War I veterans wounded in depleted uranium (DU) friendly-fire incidents have been monitored for health changes in a clinical surveillance program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore since 1994. Methods During the spring of 2015, an in-patient clinical surveillance protocol was performed on 36 members of the cohort, including exposure monitoring for total and isotopic uranium concentrations in urine and a comprehensive assessment of health outcomes. Results On-going mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated urine U concentrations. The DU isotopic signature is observed principally in participants possessing embedded fragments. Those with only an inhalation exposure have lower urine U concentration and a natural isotopic signature. Conclusions At 25 years since first exposure to DU, an aging cohort of military veterans continues to show no U-related health effects in known target organs of U toxicity. As U body burden continues to accrue from in-situ mobilization from metal fragment depots, and increases with exposure duration, critical tissue-specific U concentration thresholds may be reached, thus recommending on-going surveillance of this veteran cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume152
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DU bio-monitoring
  • Health surveillance
  • Uranium toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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    McDiarmid, M. A., Gaitens, J. M., Hines, S., Condon, M., Roth, T., Oliver, M., Gucer, P., Brown, L., Centeno, J. A., Dux, M., & Squibb, K. S. (2017). The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs depleted uranium exposed cohort at 25 Years: Longitudinal surveillance results. Environmental Research, 152, 175-184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2016.10.016