Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Herbicide Exposure in Vietnam-Era U.S. Army Chemical Corps Veterans

Past research demonstrates a possible association between herbicide exposure and respiratory health. Biologic plausibility and inhalation as a mode of exposure further support the contention that herbicides may act as adverse contributors to respiratory status, especially in military personnel who were responsible for chemical maintenance and distribution during the Vietnam War.

This study examines the association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and herbicide exposure among Vietnam-era U.S. Army Chemical Corps veterans. A 2013 three-phase health study was conducted that included a survey (mail or telephone), in-home physical examinations, and medical record reviews/abstractions. Living, eligible veterans (n?=?4,027) were identified using an existing cohort of men (n?=?5,609) who either served in Vietnam (n?=?2,872) or never served in Southeast Asia (n?=?2,737). The health survey collected self-reported data on physician-diagnosed pulmonary conditions (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis), service-related herbicide spraying history, cigarette smoking status, alcohol use, and demographics. Data from service personnel files confirmed chemical operations involvement and service status, whereas serum samples analysed for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin supported self-reported herbicide exposure. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health quality-assured spirometry was performed during the physical examinations on a subset of survey respondents (n?=?468 of 733 selected for participation and who provided consent) to determine mainly spirometric obstructive respiratory disease (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][FEV1]/forced vital capacity [FVC]?

Authors: Cypel Y, Hines SE, Davey VJ, Eber SM, Schneiderman AI. ; Full Source: Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2018 Apr;15(Supplement_2):S132. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201706-483MG.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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