Health status of Vietnam veterans. III. Reproductive outcomes and child health. The Centers for Disease Control Vietnam Experience Study

JAMA. 1988 May 13;259(18):2715-9.


The Vietnam Experience Study was a multidimensional assessment of the health of Vietnam veterans. From a random sample of enlisted men who entered the US Army from 1965 through 1971, 7924 Vietnam and 7364 non-Vietnam veterans participated in a telephone interview; a random subsample of 2490 Vietnam and 1972 non-Vietnam veterans also underwent a comprehensive medical examination. During the telephone interview, Vietnam veterans reported more adverse reproductive and child health outcomes than did non-Vietnam veterans. However, children of Vietnam veterans were not more likely to have birth defects recorded on hospital birth records than were children of non-Vietnam veterans. The rates of total, major, minor, and suspected defects were similar among children of Vietnam and non-Vietnam veterans (odds ratios, 1.0, 1.1, 1.0, and 0.9, respectively). These results are consistent with the findings of three epidemiologic studies conducted since 1981 on the relationship of Vietnam service and birth defects in children of male veterans.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Anencephaly / epidemiology
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Child
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hospital Records
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Spina Bifida Occulta / epidemiology
  • United States
  • Veterans*
  • Vietnam