VA launches 10-year health study

VA has initiated a large, long-term study to carefully examine a broad array of health issues that may affect Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their contemporaries. VA’s National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans will begin with 30,000 veterans deployed to OEF/OIF and 30,000 more veterans who were not deployed.

The study will include veterans who served in each branch of service, representing active duty, reserve and National Guard. About 12,000 of those participating in the study will be women. A combination of mail surveys, online surveys, telephone interviews and in-person physical evaluations will be used to collect data.

The study will compare deployed and non-deployed veterans in terms of chronic medical conditions, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological conditions, general health perceptions, reproductive health, pregnancy outcomes, functional status, use of health care, behavioral risk factors (smoking, drinking, seat belt use, speeding, motorcycle helmet use and sexual behavior), and VA disability compensation.

VA has contracted with an independent veteran-owned research firm, HMS Technologies Inc., to collect the data.