Mortality among Australian conscripts of the Vietnam conflict era. I. Death from all causes.Am J Epidemiol 1987; 125(5):869-77AJ
A retrospective cohort study of mortality was conducted to assess whether Army service of young Australian men in the Vietnam conflict influenced the subsequent risk of premature death. Analysis related to all National Servicemen (generally conscripts in the Australian Army) who enlisted during the conflict and served in the Army for at least 12 months. Of these veterans, 19,205 served in Vietnam, while 25,677 served only in Australia. All men were traced from the end of their national service engagement (between 1966 and 1976) until January, 1, 1982. For both groups, death rates were statistically significantly lower than expected for Australian males of the same age. Overall mortality of Vietnam veterans was 1.3 times that of non-Vietnam veterans (95% confidence interval (Cl) = 1.1-1.5). After adjustment for the confounding effects of Army corps grouping, Vietnam veteran mortality was 1.2 times that of non-Vietnam veterans (95% Cl = 1.0-1.4). No other variable examined was confounding. The excess of deaths among Vietnam veterans relative to the veterans not serving in Vietnam was largely confined to The Royal Australian Engineers. Among members of this corps, the relative mortality rate was 2.5 (95% Cl = 1.4-4).