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Villa VM, Harada ND, Washington D, Damron-Rodriguez J. Health and functioning among four war eras of U.S. veterans: examining the impact of war cohort membership, socioeconomic status, mental health, and disease prevalence. Military medicine. 2002 Sep 1; 167(9):783-9.
This analysis examines the self-rated health and functioning of World War II, Vietnam era, Korean Conflict, and Persian Gulf War veterans participating in the Veteran Identity Program Survey 2001. The results indicate that although World War II veterans are more likely to report poor health status and functioning, Vietnam-era veterans report more difficulty with specific activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living than any other era of veterans. These relationships remain when controlling for race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disease prevalence, and mental health status. These findings suggest that there are characteristics unique to the Vietnam experience that negatively affect this cohort of veterans. We suggest that further analysis examine the specific pathways through which the experience of being a Vietnam veteran affects health. In the meantime, health and social service planning within the Department of Veterans Affairs should explore the services that should be developed and targeted to this cohort of veterans so that they may remain independent in the community.