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July 26, 1971

Coronary Artery Disease In Vietnam Casualties

JAMA. 1971;217(4):478-479. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190040070029

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To the Editor.—  I was most impressed with the differences in autopsy findings of atherosclerosis between the Vietnam casualties and the Korean casualties. Of the Korean battle casualties, 77.3% had some degree of atherosclerosis as compared to 45% of the Vietnam casualties. Although the two groups were essentially similar in many respects, namely, age and sex, the significant differences in the frequency of atherosclerosis may be explained by differences in ethnicity between the two groups. Data on ethnicity of the Korean sample is not given in the report and would be most illuminating. One may speculate that the Korean battle casualties were predominantly white whereas the Vietnam battle casualties included more than 13% nonwhite men. The ethnic differences in the two groups may explain the differences found.Studies of coronary heart disease mortality and the study of Mc-Namara et al may indicate ethnic differences in atherosclerosis in young men as