Issue Date: August 6, 2007
Agent Orange Linked To High Blood Pressure
Exposure to dioxin-laced agent orange and other defoliants during the Vietnam War may be raising the blood pressure of some veterans, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). "In two new studies, Vietnam veterans with the highest exposure to herbicides exhibited distinct increases in the prevalence of hypertension," says the committee that wrote the report. IOM has been examining evidence about the health effects of these herbicides since the early 1990s. The report says the results of the new studies are consistent with some previous findings, although other research did not find evidence of an association between herbicide or dioxin exposure and increased incidence of high blood pressure. The IOM panel says the cumulative body of evidence suggests, but does not conclusively demonstrate, that there is an association between high blood pressure and herbicide exposure. The Department of Veterans Affairs must now determine whether high blood pressure should be added to the list of diseases associated with herbicide exposure.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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