Research to Improve VA Policies and Health Care
Beginning in 1991, as required by public law, VA contracted with the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) (formally known as the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review scientific and medical information related to the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides. HMD released the first report of its findings, entitled “Veterans and Agent Orange,” in 1994 and was required to release updated reports every two years through 2016.
For every biennial update, HMD was charged to determine 1) whether there was a statistical association between specific diseases and exposure to herbicides used during the conflict in Vietnam, 2) whether there was an increased risk of disease among individuals exposed to herbicides during service in Vietnam, and 3) whether there was evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and a disease.
On March 10, 2016, HMD released its tenth report in the mandated series. A technical workgroup of VA subject matter experts has been assembled to review the report and to make recommendations to the Secretary on how the findings can be used to help improve VA’s policies and the care of Vietnam Veterans.
Diseases Associated with Agent Orange
VA recognizes certain cancers and other health problems as diseases that are associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for benefits for the following diseases:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin's Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
- Parkinson's Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas
For more information on these diseases please visit www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp. VA continues to update this list based on relevant scientific and medical information, including HMD’s findings. To view HMD’s reports go to www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/publications/health-and-medicine-division.asp.