Army Chemical Corps Vietnam-Era Veterans Health
The Army Chemical Corps Vietnam-Era Veterans Health Study (2012-2013) is designed to learn if high blood pressure (hypertension) and some chronic respiratory diseases are related to herbicide exposure during the Vietnam War.
Latest update: Among U.S. Army Chemical Corps Veterans, VA researchers found an association between both hypertension risk and exposure to herbicides, and hypertension risk and military service in Vietnam. Other findings from this study will be published in the future. VA would like to thank everyone who participated in this important study.
This study follows a request by former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki for VA to conduct research on the association between herbicide exposure and high blood pressure (hypertension), as a basis for understanding if hypertension is related to military service in Vietnam. VA is also interested in learning more about the relationship between herbicide exposure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Researchers have two questions:
- Is the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) related to Agent Orange exposure during service in Vietnam?
- Is the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, related to Agent Orange exposure during service in Vietnam?
Researchers asked approximately 4,000 Veterans who served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps during the Vietnam era (1965-1973) to participate in this study. Army Chemical Corps personnel were responsible for the maintenance and distribution or application of chemicals for military operations. Army Chemical Corps personnel who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War constitute one of the largest groups of Vietnam Veterans who were thought to have had the greatest potential exposure to herbicides.
Researchers received survey information by mail or on the telephone, collected medical records, and measured the blood pressure and lung function of participating Veterans. A paper on the research findings related to hypertension risk was published in 2016 for this study, and researchers are currently analyzing data on COPD.
Yasmin Cypel, Ph.D., M.S.
Aaron Schneiderman, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N.
Victoria Davey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N.
Stephanie Eber, M.P.H.
Cypel YS, Kress AM, Eber SM, Schneiderman AI, Davey VJ. Herbicide exposure, Vietnam service, and hypertension risk in Army Chemical Corps Veterans. J Occup Environ Med 2016; 58: 1127-1136.
Cypel Y, Kang H. Mortality patterns of Army Chemical Corps Veterans who were occupationally exposed to herbicides in Vietnam. Ann Epidemiol 2010;20:339-346.
Kang HK, Dalager NA, Needham LL, Patterson DG Jr., Lees PS, Yates K, Matanoski GM. Health status of Army Chemical Corps Vietnam Veterans who sprayed defoliant in Vietnam. Am J Ind Med 2006;49:875-884.
Kang HK, Dalager NA, Needham LL, Patterson DG Jr., Matanoski GM, Kanchanaraksa S, Lees PS. U.S. Army Chemical Corps Vietnam Veterans health study: Preliminary results. Chemosphere 2001; 43:943-949.
Dalager NA, Kang HK. Mortality among Army Chemical Corps Vietnam Veterans. Am J Ind Med 1997;31:719–726.
Thomas TL, Kang HK. Mortality and morbidity among Army Chemical Corps Vietnam Veterans: A preliminary report. Am J Ind Med 1990;18:665–673.