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Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study

The Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study (VE-HEROeS) is a nationwide study designed to assess the current health and well-being of Vietnam Veterans, Blue Water Navy Veterans, and Veterans who served elsewhere during the Vietnam Era (1961–1975). This study is comparing the health of these Veterans to similarly aged U.S. residents who never served in the military.

Researchers are looking closely at neurologic conditions and hepatitis C infection as a part of this study.

Researchers are currently analyzing data from this study.


Researchers invited participants to complete a questionniare.  They are now analyzing data from returned questionnaires, and they are also conducting a medical records review for a smaller group of participants. The VE-HEROeS questionnaire includes the following topics:

  • Military  service: service experience, combat experience, chemical and other exposures, re-entry into civilian life, or no military service
  • General health: neurologic conditions, infections, presumptive conditions, cancer, hypertension, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression
  • Aging: memory, reasoning, and limitations
  • Lifestyle: tobacco use, health care use, living arrangements, and health experiences of descendants

Participant Selection

VA invited approximately 43,000 Vietnam and Vietnam Era Veterans, and approximately 11,000 members of the general population to participate in VE-HEROeS. These individuals were scientifically selected from the Veteran community and U.S. population to represent others with similar characteristics. Because each selected individual represents other comparable people, we were not able to accept volunteers for this study.


Victoria Davey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N.
Fatema Akhtar, M.S.
John Blosnich, Ph.D.
Robert Bossarte, Ph.D.
Tim Bullman M.S.
William Joel Culpepper, Ph.D.
Yasmin Cypel, Ph.D., M.S.
Erin Dursa, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dennis Fried, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Erick Ishii, Ph.D.
Sybil Wojcio Morley, M.P.H.
Kristin Yaffe, M.D.
Aaron Schneiderman, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N.

VE-HEROeS is also guided by a steering committee of Vietnam Veterans and family members, Veteran Service Organization representatives, survey experts, clinicians, and VA staff, along with additional consultants as needed.


Cypel YS, DePhilippis D, Davey VJ. Substance Use in U.S. Vietnam War Era Veterans and Nonveterans: Results from the Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study. Subst Use Misuse 2023; 1-13.

Davey VJ, Akhtar FZ, Cypel Y, Culpepper WJ, Ishii EK, Morley SW, Schneiderman AI. U.S. Blue Water Navy Veterans of the Vietnam War: Comparisons from the Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study (VE-HEROeS). JMVH 2023; 31: 55-72.

Blosnich, J.R, Hilgeman, M.M., Cypel, Y.S., Akhtar, F.Z., Fried, D., Ishii, E.K., Schneiderman, A., Davey, V.J. Potentially traumatic events and health among lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual Vietnam veterans: Results from the Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study. Psychol Trauma 2021.

Cypel, Y., Schnurr, P, Bossarte, R, Culpepper, W, Schneiderman, A., Akhtar, F, Morley, S., Davey, V. The mental health of older veterans ages 58-99 years: 2016-2017 VE-HEROeS findings. Innovation in Aging 2020; 4(S1):170.

Hilgeman, M., Blosnich, J., Cypel, Y., Akhtar, F., Scheiderman, A., Ishii, E., Fried, D., Davey, V. Perceived cognitive ability in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual Vietnam era Veterans. Innovation in Aging 2020; 4(S1):311.

Fales AS, Cypel YS, Dunn ME, Truelove AL, Ishii EK, Schneiderman AI, Davey VJ. Qualitative interviewing: Testing health surveys among Vietnam War Veterans at the age of 70 years. Sage Open 2019; 1-13.