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Public Health

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Research on Health Effects of Herbicide Exposure

Dioxin is a highly toxic substance found in Agent Orange and some other herbicides. Studies suggest that this chemical may be related to a number of cancers and other health effects in humans.

VA and other Federal Government Departments and agencies have and continue to conduct extensive research evaluating the health effects of Agent Orange exposure on U.S. Veterans.

VA epidemiology studies on Vietnam Veterans

Man looking at data on a computer.

The Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study  is a nationwide study on the current health and well-being of Vietnam era Veterans. Researchers will compare their health to similarly aged U.S. residents who never served in the military.

The Army Chemical Corps Vietnam-Era Veterans Health Study is a study of 4,000 Veterans who served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps sometime between 1965–1973 to determine if high blood pressure (hypertension) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are related to Agent Orange exposure during Vietnam.

The Long Term Health Outcomes of Women's Service During the Vietnam Era is the most comprehensive study to date of the mental and physical health of women Vietnam Veterans. The study will be used to shape future research on women Veterans and to plan for appropriate services for women Veterans and the aging Veteran population.

VA's Epidemiology Program, a research division of the Office of Public Health, has many publications on the health of Vietnam Veterans.

CDC studies on Vietnam Veterans

In 1984, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an important study, partially funded by VA, regarding Vietnam Veterans’ risks of fathering babies with birth defects.

VA also funded the CDC Vietnam Experience Study published in 1987 and 1988, and the CDC Selected Cancers Study published in 1990.

HMD reports on Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange

VA contracts with the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) (formally known as the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a non-governmental organization, to scientifically review evidence on the long-term health effects of Agent Orange and other herbicides on Vietnam Veterans. The HMD regularly updates its reports on Veterans and Agent Orange.

You also may want to conduct an extensive search on Agent Orange through the U.S. National Institutes of Health's PubMed.

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