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Epidemiology

Man looking at data on a computer

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 Public Health, conducts research studies and surveillance (the collection and analysis of data) on the health of Veterans. The focus is primarily on Veterans who served in combat deployments and those who use VA health care facilities.

The data and research findings from our studies help VA health professionals improve health care practices for Veterans. The findings also help VA leadership and Congress to improve policies for Veterans.

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.