A Proposal of study Designs and Methods for Evaluating the Adverse Health Effects of Agent Orange among Korean Vietnam Veterans
Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine (예방의학회지)
Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine (예방의학회지), Vol.34(3) : 228~236, 2001
Objectives : To propose a feasible, valid and appropriate study designs and epidemiologic methods for evaluating the adverse health effects of Agent Orange-chemical defoliants used in Vietnam- in Korea. Methods : A literature study was peformed on Agent Orange, herbicides, pesticides and dioxins. The study subjects, study design, exposure assessment and health outcomes assessment were examined in each study. The potential data sources for the study subjects, study design, exposure assessment and health outcomes assessment in Korea were investigated. Results and Conclusion : In earlier Korean studies, research subjects for studying the effects of Agent Orange were identified from the patients or persons who claimed to have Agent Orange-related diseases due to the difficulties in identifying the entire population of Vietnam veterans in Korea. In this study, an attempt was made to identify the total number of Vietnam veterans in Korea. As a result, the addresses of 20,000 Vietnam veterans were obtained. It is proposed that a retrospective cohort design on a sample of the total number of Vietnam veterans is a feasible and appropriate study design. Self report questionnaires and military records were proposed to assess the exposure level. It is believed that measuring the plasma or tissue TCDD should be used only for a validation study assessing the level of exposure. For the health outcomes assessment, it is possible to obtain the mortality, cancer frequency, physical examination, screening and medical insurance record data.