2 Sep 2013

Study finds higher cancer rate in Vietnam veterans

9:24 pm on 2 September 2013

An Otago University study has found New Zealand Vietnam veterans have double the rate of chronic lymphatic leukaemia compared to the general population.

Researchers looked at the patterns of mortality and cancer incidence among Vietnam veterans who served from 1963 to 1971.

The study says most of the veterans deployed in the province of Phuoc Tuy during that time experienced a toxic environment because of the use of the herbicide Agent Orange.

One of the authors, David McBride, says the study found a significantly higher incidence of chronic lymphatic leukaemia among veterans.

Associate Professor McBride says they found 14 cases when they would have expected half that number.

He says similar results have been found among Australian Vietnam veterans.