Military service in Vietnam and the risk of death from trauma and selected cancers

Ann Epidemiol. 1995 Sep;5(5):407-12. doi: 10.1016/1047-2797(95)00039-a.


The postservice mortality of a cohort of 10,716 US Marine veterans who served in Vietnam was compared with that of 9,346 Marine veterans who did not serve in Vietnam. There was a significant excess of death for Vietnam Marines from all causes and all external causes. After adjustments for age and rank in military, overall mortality continued to be statistically significant, with a relative risk of 1.15 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02 to 1.29) for Vietnam Marines compared to non-Vietnam Marines. All external causes was also significant, with a relative risk of 1.21 (95% CI = 1.00 to 1.47). The excess overall mortality was mainly due to excess deaths from external causes. The risks for several site-specific cancers were elevated but not statistically significant. Periodic follow-up of this Marine cohort should continue to determine whether there are statistically significant differences in the mortality patterns of Marine Vietnam and non-Vietnam veterans, especially for cancers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Death Certificates
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vietnam
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*