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Secretary Shinseki Announces Study of Vietnam-Era Women Veterans
Date:11/19/2009

Comprehensive Study Will Help VA Provide High-Quality Care

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is launching a comprehensive study of women Veterans who served in the military during the Vietnam War to explore the effects of their military service upon their mental and physical health.

"One of my top priorities is to meet the needs of women Veterans," said Secretary Shinseki. "Our Veterans have earned the very best care. VA realizes that women Veterans require specialized programs, and this study will help VA provide high-quality care for women Veterans of the Vietnam era."

The study, which begins in November and lasts more than four years, will contact approximately 10,000 women in a mailed survey, telephone interview and a review of their medical records.

As women Vietnam Veterans approach their mid-sixties, it is important to understand the impact of wartime deployment on health and mental outcomes nearly 40 years later. The study will assess the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and physical health conditions for women Vietnam Veterans, and explore the relationship between PTSD and other conditions.

VA will study women Vietnam Veterans who may have had direct exposure to traumatic events, and for the first time, study those who served in facilities near Vietnam. These women may have had similar, but less direct exposures. Both women Veterans who receive their health care from VA and those who receive health care from other providers will be contacted to determine the prevalence of a variety of health conditions.

About 250,000 women Veterans served in the military during the Vietnam War and about 7,000 were in or near Vietnam. Those who were in Vietnam, those who served elsewhere in Southeast Asia and those who served in th
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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