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Agent Orange Linked to Parkinson's, Heart Disease
Date:7/24/2009

niversity of Rochester Medical Center in New York, but she said the outcome could have gone either way.

"It seems like it was on the fence a little bit," she said. "There are people who would argue the evidence is not very compelling at the current time."

Relationships between herbicides and Parkinson's disease have been noted in the epidemiologic literature, she said. "How close these are to herbicides of interest in this case is certainly more controversial," she added.

"Herbicides, yes. These specific cast characters, I waffle about how strong that evidence is at this time," she said. "The committee recognized this, and I agree with their statement that this should be followed in some of the cohorts."

Recent studies have also suggested links between Agent Orange and aggressive forms of prostate cancer and high blood pressure.

Other committee findings, some confirming previously reported information, follow:

  • It found "sufficient" evidence of a link between herbicide exposure and soft-tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and other chronic B-cell leukemias, Hodgkin's disease and chloracne, a skin condition. The committee also clarified that hairy cell leukemia belonged in the same category as CLL and lymphomas.
  • In addition to Parkinson's and heart disease, there was "limited or suggestive evidence" of an association between the herbicides and laryngeal cancer as well as cancers of the lung, bronchus, trachea and prostate, multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis (a blood disorder) and type 2 diabetes.
  • There was also "limited or suggestive evidence" between a parent's exposure to herbicides and spina bifida in offspring, along with a call for more studies on health issues in the children of veterans.
  • There was "inadequate or insufficient evidence" to correlate the herbicides with many other cancers, including esophageal, stomach, color
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