Report

The Psychological Risks of Vietnam for U.S. Veterans: A Revisit with New Data and Methods

Science  18 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5789, pp. 979-982
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128944

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

In 1988, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) of a representative sample of 1200 veterans estimated that 30.9% had developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during their lifetimes and that 15.2% were currently suffering from PTSD. The study also found a strong dose-response relationship: As retrospective reports of combat exposure increased, PTSD occurrence increased. Skeptics have argued that these results are inflated by recall bias and other flaws. We used military records to construct a new exposure measure and to cross-check exposure reports in diagnoses of 260 NVVRS veterans. We found little evidence of falsification, an even stronger dose-response relationship, and psychological costs that were lower than previously estimated but still substantial. According to our fully adjusted PTSD rates, 18.7% of the veterans had developed war-related PTSD during their lifetimes and 9.1% were currently suffering from PTSD 11 to 12 years after the war; current PTSD was typically associated with moderate impairment.

View Full Text

Related Content