Study initiation

A key recommendation of the 1997 Mortality of Vietnam Veterans: The Veteran Cohort Study was to monitor the mortality of Vietnam veterans and repeat the study after 2000.  In 2002, the then Minister for Veterans' Affairs agreed that the Repatriation Commission should undertake the Third Vietnam Veterans Mortality Study and Cancer Incidence in Vietnam Veterans Study.  The Commission asked the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) to conduct these studies which were undertaken with assistance from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This report is the second of four volumes published in this third series of studies on Vietnam veterans.  The other volumes are:

  • Cancer Incidence in Australian Vietnam Veterans Study 2005;
  • Australian National Service Vietnam Veterans: Mortality and Cancer Incidence 2005; and
  • Dapsone exposure and Australian Vietnam Service: Mortality and Cancer Incidence 2005.

Study objectives

The objectives of the mortality study were to:

  • identify all deaths among the male Australian Vietnam veteran cohort from the time of completing Vietnam service to 31 December 2001;
  • compare the number of deaths among Vietnam veterans with the number of expected deaths based on mortality of the Australian community;
  • report any differences in the mortality for specific causes of death, as highlighted by past studies and the literature review, from the Australian community; and
  • investigate any differences in mortality between Navy, Army and Air Force Vietnam veterans from the Australian community.