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Public Health

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Epidemiology is the study of health in populations to understand the causes and patterns of health and illness.

The Epidemiology Program, a research division of VA's Office of Patient Care Services, conducts research studies and surveillance (the collection and analysis of data) on health outcomes of a broad array of military exposures (occupational, environmental, and garrison). The focus is on Veterans who served in combat and/or were deployed into the combat theater of operations.

These findings: 1) help VA health professionals improve health care practices for Veterans; 2) help VA leadership and Congress to improve policies for Veterans; and 3) offer scientific evidence to support policy on presumptions and service connection.

How we select study participants

We choose a sample of Veterans from VA and Department of Defense databases to join our research studies. Each Veteran in the sample represents other Veterans with similar characteristics. This method of sample selection helps lead to valid answers to scientific questions.

We cannot accept volunteers for our research. However, if you are invited to participate in a VA epidemiology study, we encourage you to do so.