Project Ranch Hand II. An Epidemiologic Investigation of Health Effects in Air Force Personnel Following Exposure to Herbicides. Mortality Update 1984.
Interim rept. 1979-1983,
SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE BROOKS AFB TX
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The purpose of the Ranch Hand II Study is to determine whether individuals involved in the aerial spraying of herbicides in Vietnam during the Ranch Hand operation have experienced increased deaths as a result of their participation in that program. The baseline mortality study was released in June 1983, and the baseline morbidity study in February 1984. Neither study demonstrated health effects that could be conclusively attributed to herbicide or dioxin exposure. The present study report describes the second mortality analyses. Deaths in the 1256 Ranch Hand and 6171 comparison subjects were determined. As of 31 December 1983, 54 Ranch Hand and 265 comparison subjects had died. Extensive statistical analyses were accomplished, as detailed in the report, to compare the death experience in the Ranch Hand population with the comparison group. In addition, death experience in these groups was compared to the 1978 U.S. White Male Mortality Experience, the 1978 Department of Defense Nondisability Retired Life Table, the mortality experience of the West Point Class of 1956, the USAF active duty personnel, and the active U.S. Civil Service population. The current mortality analyses did not reveal any statistically significant differences in mortality between the exposed and comparison groups. Continued mortality surveillance is recommended, since the study groups are still relatively young and healthy.
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