273183 Management of the Air Force Health Study Data and Specimens

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

David A. Butler, PhD , Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
In 1979, the US Congress directed that an epidemiologic study be conducted to evaluate the frequency and nature of adverse health effects that might be related to exposure to “Agent Orange” and other military herbicide used during the Vietnam Conflict. The effort—formally called the Air Force Health Study—studied veterans involved in herbicide spraying missions and a comparison group. Data and biospecimens were collected longitudinally for 20 years in six cycles (cycles were conducted in 1982, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1997, and 2002). In all, 2758 subjects participated in at least one cycle exam. Physical exams and extensive interviewer-led questionnaires were conducted, leading to collection of health data, information on partners and children, education, employment, income, military experience, and many other endpoints. In addition, more than 86,000 biospecimens were collected. The Institute of Medicine has been directed by the US Congress to make these research assets available to a broader set of researchers to allow for more expansive scientific findings to improve health and wellness.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the data and specimens collected over the course of the Air Force Health Study. 2) Identify potential areas for future research.

Keywords: Agent Orange, War

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: NA

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have directed studies for the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine related to the health effects of wartime exposure to herbicides in Vietnam for the past fifteen years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3450.0: Lessons from the Vietnam War