Westat to Conduct VA’s VE-HEROeS to Learn about Health of Vietnam Era Veterans

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Veteran's Affairs will use study results to inform future health care, prevention services, and other benefits

VA scientists, working with Westat, will conduct the Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study (VE-HEROeS) for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The study will help VA determine if the overall health of Vietnam War theater veterans (who served in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos) and Vietnam era veterans (who served in the military elsewhere in the world in the same time period) is different from that of their counterparts in the general U.S. population who did not serve in the military.

Study data will look at the following:

  • Differences in age-related health conditions (e.g., heart disease)
  • Agent Orange service-connected health conditions (e.g., Type II diabetes; see http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/ )
  • Lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking)
  • Neurological conditions of special interest (brain injury, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke)
  • Hepatitis C infection and treatment
  • Children’s and grandchildren’s health problems that veterans attribute to their Vietnam War theater service

Westat will conduct study tasks, including assisting VA researchers on sample design and selection, questionnaire design, data collection, medical record abstraction, and analysis. Westat will contact approximately 300,000 U.S. households to identify potential respondents, and the VA will provide another sample of 43,000 Vietnam War theater and era veterans. The survey will also ask about whether the veteran’s service was exclusively in the deep coastal waters off of Vietnam, called “Blue Water Navy,” and endeavor to describe the current health of this group. In addition, 2,000 individuals will be invited to participate in a medical record review that will confirm specific neurological conditions (Parkinson’s, dementia, stroke, brain injury) and hepatitis C that they reported in their survey.

Findings from this study, anticipated in winter 2018, will inform the VA on how to provide high-quality health care, prevention services, and other benefits for this large group of Americans who are now mostly in their late 60s and older.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/epidemiology/studies/heroes/index.asp

About Westat (http://www.westat.com)

Westat is one of the leading research and statistical survey organizations in the United States. Since 1963, Westat has provided statistical and evaluation research services to Federal and state government agencies and other organizations in the fields of health, education, social services, transportation, housing, the environment and other subjects.

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Patricia Espey-English, VP Marketing
Westat
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