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Research Topics
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 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
BONE, JOINT & MUSCLE
BRAIN & NERVOUS
CANCER
CARDIOVASCULAR
CHEMICAL WARFARE
DIGESTIVE HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
FAMILY HEALTH
GENERAL HEALTH & PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
GENETIC STUDIES
HEALTH RESEARCH OF ALLIED FORCES
IMMUNE/BLOOD SYSTEM
INFECTIONS
LUNG & RESPIRATORY
MENTAL HEALTH
MILITARY WORKING DOGS
MORTALITY/DEATH
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH/OUTCOMES
SLEEP DISORDER
Treatment
VACCINES & PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS
General Health & Physical Symptoms
General
Project Summary

Title: Troops Exposed to New Agents at Aberdeen Proving Ground: Follow-Up
Synopsis: This is a follow-up study reporting on the health of U.S. Army soldiers who were exposed to certain chemical warfare agents (anticholinesterase compounds such as sarin and soman) between 1955 and 1975, as part of a volunteer experimental program at the Edgewood Arsenal/Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
Overall Project Objective: Compare self-reported health of veterans earlier exposed to anticholinesterase agents with that of veterans not exposed to such agents. Self-reported health outcomes included potential neurological effects such as peripheral nerve disease and psychoneurological effects such as sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety.
Status/Results to Date: The telephone survey has been completed and a draft report produced. The report is in review, and no results have been reported.
Project:DoD-93
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:Institute of Medicine/Medical
P.I. Name:William Page, Ph. D.
Research Type:Epidemiology
Research Focus:Chemical Weapons
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:August 15,1999
Estimated Completion Date:March 14,2001
Specific Aims: See objectives.
Methodology: Between 1955 and 1975, the U.S. Army enrolled 6,720 soldiers in a voluntary experimental program at the Edgewood Arsenal to test the effects of chemical warfare and other agents. In 1980, the Army asked the National Research Council (NRC) to study the possible long-term health effects of these exposures. In 1985, a report was issued on the current health status of the test subjects, including 1,581 men who had been exposed to anticholinesterase compounds such as GA (tabun), GN (sarin), GD (soman), GF, and VX. A pilot study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of further long-term follow-up (see project DoD-116A / VA-63A), and a full-scale study was undertaken to study the health of subjects exposed to anticholinesterase and other chemical agents. Three groups were studied: those exposed to anticholinesterase agents, those exposed to other chemical agents, and those exposed to no agents. Subjects were surveyed by telephone. The health of subjects in the anticholinesterase group was compared with the health of subjects in the other two comparison groups. The Edgewood subjects who were unexposed to chemical agents served as the first control group. However, this was not an ideal control group because the original Edgewood protocol did not include random assignment of subjects to treatment and control groups. In particular, it was thought that healthier men were more likely to have been assigned to chemical exposure groups and less healthy men to the control group. To counteract the effect of this putative assignment bias, a second control group consisting of men who were exposed to chemical agents other than anticholinesterase was also included in the follow-up. The survey instrument was developed in consultation with Dr. Dan Blazer of Duke University and Dr. Peter Spencer of Oregon Health Sciences University. Items in the survey included the following: general health, somatization disorder scale, illness attitude scale, cognitive impairment, peripheral nerve disease, vestibular function, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, neurological conditions, birth defects, etc.
Most Recent Publications:

Page WF. Long-term health effects of exposure to sarin and other anticholinesterase chemical warfare agents. Military Medicine, 168(3):239-45. Mar 2003. Abstract