Accession Number:

ADA465934

Title:

Post-Service Mortality of Air Force Veterans Occupationally Exposed to Herbicides during the Vietnam War

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB BROOKS AFB TX HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIR/DIRECTED ENERGY BIOEFFECTS DIV

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

44.0

Abstract:

The Air Force Health Study AFHS is a prospective epidemiological study of the health, mortality, and reproductive outcomes of veterans of Operation Ranch Hand, the unit responsible for aerially spraying herbicides in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971. The study began in 1982 and concludes in 2006. This report updates the authors mortality findings published in 2005 deaths through December, 1999 by summarizing current all-cause and cause-specific post-service mortality in veterans of Operation Ranch Hand to December 31, 2003. In this study, the mortality of 1,263 Ranch Hand veterans to December 31, 2003 was contrasted with that of 19,080 comparison veterans. The relative risk for all-cause mortality was significantly increased RR1.25, 95 Confidence Interval CI 1.1, 1.4, p0.001. The risk of death caused by cancer was not significantly elevated RR1.1, 95 CI 0.9, 1.4, p0.39. The risk of death caused by circulatory system diseases was significantly increased in all occupations combined RR1.4, 95 CI 1.1, 1.8, p0.001 and in enlisted ground crew RR1.8, 95 CI 1.3, 2.4, p0.001, a subgroup with relatively high skin exposure to herbicides. Similarly increased risks of circulatory disease death in Ranch Hand personnel, particularly enlisted ground crew, were found among 2,758 veterans who had a physical examination. Among 2,551 veterans with dioxin assay results who had a physical examination, risk of death due to circulatory disease was significantly elevated for Ranch Hand veterans in the Low and High dioxin exposure categories Low RR1.9, 95 CI 1.1, 3.3, p0.02 High RR2.3, 95 CI 1.3, 4.0, p0.005 trend p0.001.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Toxicology
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Pesticides Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE