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J Occup Environ Med. 1995 Apr;37(4):423-8.

Proportionate mortality study of Vietnam-era veterans of Michigan.

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Graduate School of Health Sciences, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA.


This study examines the proportion of deaths from major diseases among Michigan Vietnam veterans. The distribution of deaths among Michigan Vietnam veterans was compared to deaths among veterans serving elsewhere for 1974-1989 to generate a proportionate mortality ratio (PMR). PMRs were estimated overall and for Black versus non-Black veterans. Overall, Vietnam veterans had significantly elevated PMRs for infectious and parasitic diseases and endocrine disease and lower PMRs for all malignant neoplasms combined. Vietnam veterans overall and non-Black specifically had elevated PMRs for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Black Vietnam veterans had elevated PMRs for cancer of the digestive organs, peritoneum, and pancreas. The elevated PMR for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is consistent with results of individuals exposed to phenoxy herbicides. Results suggest that future studies should examine risks among racial groups separately.

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