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Health Agencies Update
September 26, 2007

Agent Orange and Hypertension

JAMA. 2007;298(12):1389. doi:10.1001/jama.298.12.1389-c

Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides may be at increased risk of developing hypertension, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

In the latest of a series of congressionally mandated biennial IOM reviews of the health effects of Agent Orange, the Institute concluded that there is limited but suggestive evidence that exposed individuals are more likely to develop hypertension. Past research had suggested such a correlation, but the studies had limitations. More recently, the IOM noted, 2 studies of Vietnam veterans who handled Agent Orange and other defoliants provided stronger evidence of a link. These studies used more accurate measures of exposure and adjusted for common risk factors for hypertension.