Metabolome-Wide Association Study of Deployment to Balad, Iraq or Bagram, Afghanistan

Young Mi Go*, Matthew R. Smith, Douglas I. Walker, Karan Uppal, Patricia Rohrbeck, Pamela L. Krahl, Philip K. Hopke, Mark J. Utell, Timothy M. Mallon, Dean P. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective:To use high-resolution metabolomics (HRM) to identify metabolic changes in military personnel associated with deployment to Balad, Iraq, or Bagram, Afghanistan.Methods:Pre- and post-deployment samples were obtained from the Department of Defense Serum Repository (DoDSR). HRM and bioinformatics were used to identify metabolic differences associated with deployment.Results:Differences at baseline (pre-deployment) between personnel deployed to Bagram compared with Balad or Controls included sex hormone and keratan sulfate metabolism. Deployment to Balad was associated with alterations to amino acid and lipid metabolism, consistent with inflammation and oxidative stress, and pathways linked to metabolic adaptation and repair. Difference associated with deployment to Bagram included lipid pathways linked to cell signaling and inflammation.Conclusions:Metabolic variations in pre- and post-deployment are consistent with deployment-associated responses to air pollution and other environmental stressors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S25-S34
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • environmental toxicants
  • exposome
  • inflammation
  • metabolic response
  • metabolome-wide association study


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