An Epidemiologic Investigation of Health Effects in Air Force Personnel Following Exposure to Herbicides: Mortality Update - 1986.
Interim rept. 1979-1985,
SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE BROOKS AFB TX
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The purpose of this study is to determine whether those individuals involved in spraying herbicides in Vietnam during the Ranch Hand operation have experienced any adverse health effects as a result of their participation in that program. The study is designed to evaluate both the mortality death and morbidity disease in these individuals over a 20 year period beginning in 1982. The baseline mortality report was released in June 1983 and the baseline morbidity report in February 1984. Follow-up mortality reports were released in 1984 and 1985. This study has so far failed to demonstrate health effects which can be conclusively attributed to herbicide or dioxin exposure. This report summary statistics only for cumulative deaths occurring up to 31 Dec 1985. These data were not statistically analyzed since the 4 Ranch Hand and 27 Comparison deaths since the last report would not alter the results of the last analysis. As of 31 Dec 1985, 59 Ranch Hand and 312 comparison subjects had died. The small number of deaths since the last analysis suggests that the findings of the last report are still valid there are no overall statistically significant differences between the Ranch Handers and their matched comparisons as regards mortality. Continued mortality surveillance is recommended, since these study groups are still relatively young and healthy. While sufficient time may have elapsed for some clinically significant condition to occur, additional time is necessary for other conditions, which may possibly be attributable to herbicide exposure, to develop.
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