Long-term effects of sulfur mustard on civilians' mental health 20 years after exposure (The Sardasht-Iran Cohort Study)

  • R. R
  • P. R
  • Z. G
  • et al.
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Abstract

Background: Sulfur mustard (SM) is an alkylating agent that induces short and long term toxicity on various organs. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term psychological symptoms among samples of exposed to sulfur mustard gas compared with unexposed civilians 20 years after exposure.Methods: This historical cohort study was conducted on 495 civilians of Sardasht and Rabat in two age matched groups, including 367 sulfur mustard exposed participants from Sardasht and 128 unexposed subjects from Rabat. Psychological symptoms was assessed using the Symptom Check List-90 Revised (SCL-90-R) including measures of somatization, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism providing three global distress indices namely: Global Severity Index (GSI), Positive Symptom Total (PST) and Positive Symptom Distress Index (PSDI). Comparison was made between exposed and unexposed civilians.Results: There were significant differences in somatization (P = 0.002), obsessive-compulsive (P = 0.031), depression (P = 0.007), anxiety (P = 0.042), and hostility (P = 0.002), between the exposed and unexposed groups. In addition there were significant differences between two groups concerning the GSI (P = 0.045) and the PSDI (P < 0.001). The differences between two groups in other subscales were not significant.Conclusions: The findings from this study showed that civilians who exposed to sulfur mustard gas were suffering from a number of psychological symptoms even 20 years after exposure. Providing mental health services and more resource allocation for this community are highly recommended. © 2013 Roshan et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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R., R., P., R., Z., G., A., M., M.R., S., M.M., N., … A., T. (2013). Long-term effects of sulfur mustard on civilians’ mental health 20 years after exposure (The Sardasht-Iran Cohort Study). Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. T. Ghazanfari, Immunoregulation Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of. E-mail: tghazanfari@yahoo.com: BioMed Central Ltd. (Floor 6, 236 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8HB, United Kingdom). Retrieved from http://www.hqlo.com/content/11/1/69

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