Korean Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (대한작업환경의학회지), Vol.23(3) : 279~286, 2011
Korean Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (대한작업환경의학회지)
Objectives: A total of 320,000 Korean soldiers in three combat units and four supporting units participated in the Vietnam War. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between Vietnam experience and mortality by comparing mortalities in Korean Vietnam War veterans to the general population.
Methods: The deaths of 185,760 Vietnam veterans from January 1, 1992 to December 31, 2005 were confirmed by matching the veterans" information to death records from the National Statistical Office. Crude death rate, age adjusted rate and Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated 95% confidence. Age was standardized to the total male population during 1992-2005 with the age of 36 to 83 years old.
Results: The age adjusted death rate per 100,000 was 868.1 among veterans and 1226.5 among the general population. Mortality of all causes was significantly lower among veterans (SMR=0.83, 95% CI:
0.82-0.84). Mortalities from neoplasms (SMR=0.87), circulatory diseases (SMR=0.79), and external causes of deaths (SMR=0.92) were significantly lower among veterans. Mortalities from several external causes of deaths including Intentional self-harm (X60-X84), assault and accidental poisoning, angina pectoris, chronic ischemic heart diseases, prostate cancer, and malignant neoplasms of hematopoietic system including multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin"s lymphoma, and leukemia were not different between veterans and the general population.
Conclusions: Mortality among Vietnam veterans was lower than that among the general population. It would be explained mainly by healthy veteran effect