Date: July 27, 2007
Contacts: Christine Stencel, Media Relations Officer
Michelle Strikowsky, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail <email@example.com>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Data Suggest a Possible Association Between
Agent Orange Exposure and Hypertension, But the Evidence Is Limited
The committee that wrote the report also concluded that there is suggestive but limited evidence that
A finding of "limited or suggestive evidence of an association" means that scientific studies of adequate quality have yielded information pointing to a possible statistical link or plausible biological means by which exposure to the chemicals of concern could result in a particular health effect, but that contradictory results from other studies, biases, or other confounding factors limit the certainty of the evidence.
Two recently published studies of
The two new studies were able to adjust for the impact of common risk factors for hypertension on the results. The results also were consistent with findings from several other studies that looked at the health effects of herbicides and their contaminants on
The committee also reviewed studies that provide intriguing findings on rates of ischemic heart disease and exposure to defoliants or dioxin. However, many of the studies did not have information necessary to adjust for the impact of weight, smoking, and other known risk factors on the results, and their measures of heart disease were somewhat imprecise. The committee members could not agree on whether these factors distort the studies' results.
The report presents scientific data only and does not imply or suggest policy decisions that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs might make. Also, the findings relate to exposures and outcomes in populations. Researchers' abilities to pinpoint the health risks faced by individual veterans are hampered by inadequate information about veterans' exposure levels during their service in
The report series is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the
Pre-publication copies of Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2006 are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).
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[ This news release and report are available at http://national-academies.org ]
Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice
Review of the Health Effects in
Exposure to Herbicides - Sixth Biennial Update
John J. Stegeman, Ph.D. (chair)
Department of Biology
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Richard A. Fenske, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Industrial Hygiene and Safety Program
Jordan Firestone, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Neurology, and
Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic
Peter H. Gann, M.D., Sc.D.
Professor and Director of Pathology Research
Mark S. Goldberg, Ph.D.
Department of Medicine
Claudia Hopenhayn, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Department of Epidemiology
Nancy I. Kerkvliet, Ph.D.
Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology
Linda A. McCauley, Ph.D., F.A.A.N., R.N.
Nightingale Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Nursing Research
DeJuran Richardson, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, and
Mary K. Walker, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology/Toxicology, and
Toxicology and Environmental Disease Graduate Program
Stephen D. Walter, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Faculty of Health Sciences
Mary Paxton, Ph.D., M.Sc.