[MOL] Agent orange linked to diabetes, don't forget prostate cancer too! [02411] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Agent orange linked to diabetes, don't forget prostate cancer too!



Thursday, March 30, 2000
Agent Orange Linked to Diabetes

      A report from the Air Force has found the most clear-cut evidence to date linking exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange to the prevalence of diabetes among Vietnam War veterans.
       Beginning in 1982, the Air Force studied 1,000 of its veterans who participated in aerial spraying of the defoliant. Their health records were compared to those of another group of veterans of the same age, race and military occupation, but who were not exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Air Force analysis shows there were 47 percent more diabetes cases among veterans exposed to Agent Orange compared to veterans not exposed.
      "Certainly among Agent Orange exposure populations there's a fair amount of diabetes," says Dr. Michael Harbut, medical director at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine in Southfield, Michigan and a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. The herbicide, he tells OnHealth, "disrupts the production of insulin.".
      Diabetes is a result of the body's inability to properly produce and use insulin. According to the American Diabetes Association, 6 percent of the American population, or 15.7 million people, suffer from the disease.
      Agent Orange, nicknamed for the orange-striped barrels it was transported in, has been blamed for numerous illnesses, including cancers, birth defects and skin infections. The U.S. military sprayed about 19 million gallons over the Vietnamese countryside in an effort to destroy the foliage that provided cover for North Vietnamese forces. Use of all defoliants was stopped in 1971, shortly before the war ended.
--By Katrina Woznicki

Warmly, lillian
 
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