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Science. 2006 Aug 18;313(5789):979-82.

The psychological risks of Vietnam for U.S. veterans: a revisit with new data and methods.

Author information

1
New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY 10032, USA. dohrenw@pi.cpmc.columbia.edu

Abstract

In 1988, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) of a representative sample of 1200 veterans estimated that 30.9% had developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during their lifetimes and that 15.2% were currently suffering from PTSD. The study also found a strong dose-response relationship: As retrospective reports of combat exposure increased, PTSD occurrence increased. Skeptics have argued that these results are inflated by recall bias and other flaws. We used military records to construct a new exposure measure and to cross-check exposure reports in diagnoses of 260 NVVRS veterans. We found little evidence of falsification, an even stronger dose-response relationship, and psychological costs that were lower than previously estimated but still substantial. According to our fully adjusted PTSD rates, 18.7% of the veterans had developed war-related PTSD during their lifetimes and 9.1% were currently suffering from PTSD 11 to 12 years after the war; current PTSD was typically associated with moderate impairment.

PMID:
16917066
PMCID:
PMC1584215
DOI:
10.1126/science.1128944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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