You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

VA to study Iraq, Afghanistan vets' health

Feb. 4, 2013 - 03:58PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 4, 2013 - 03:58PM  |  
  • Filed Under

The Veterans Affairs Department will conduct a long-term study of the possible health effects of deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, including exposure to environmental hazards and open-air burn pits.

According to the Feb. 4 issue of the Federal Register, VA will launch a new burn pit and airborne hazards-related longitudinal study of recent combat veterans to determine whether there is a relationship between deployments and illnesses such as cancer, respiratory disease, circulatory problems, neurological conditions and more.

VA Secretary Erik Shinseki has asked the Defense Department to take a role in the study and help VA address the medical needs of those who have deployed, the announcement states.

VA previously had insisted that an Iraq- and Afghanistan-centric health cohort study was not needed because VA already participates in several longitudinal health studies, including the Millennium Cohort Study, which evaluates the long-term health of service members, the Million Veteran Program and Gulf War veteran studies.

But on Monday, VA officials announced they decided to follow the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, which in 2011 recommended additional research to determine specific health outcomes allegedly caused by exposure to burn pits.

"VA believes such studies would be helpful in properly assessing affected veterans for compensation purposes as well as for medical evaluation, treatment and follow up," the announcement states.

To launch the airborne hazards study, VA will evaluate current studies to determine whether any "lessons learned" are applicable to the new study.

VA also plans to establish an independent committee to oversee the project, to include setting objectives and designing the studies.

According to VA, those involved in the cohort research will receive baseline and repeat medical examinations and interviews over the course of years to determine, monitor and treat any long-term effects of deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

VA will release more details on the study as it is developed.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Go mustang
LDO and warrant careers offer more authority, a pay hike and big retirement payout

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook