Study initiation

A key recommendation of the 1997 Mortality of Vietnam Veterans: The Veteran Cohort Study was to monitor the mortality of Vietnam veterans and repeat the study after 2000.  In 2002, the then Minister for Veterans' Affairs agreed that the Repatriation Commission should undertake the Third Vietnam Veterans Mortality Study and Cancer Incidence in Vietnam Veterans Study.  The Commission asked the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) to conduct these studies which were undertaken with assistance from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This report is the third of four volumes published in this study on Vietnam veterans.  The other volumes are:

  • Cancer Incidence in Australian Vietnam Veterans Study 2005;
  • The Third Australian Vietnam Veteran Mortality Study 2005; and
  • Dapsone exposure and Australian Vietnam Service: Mortality and Cancer Incidence 2005.

Study objectives

The objectives of the National Service study were to:

  • identify all deaths among the male Australian National Service Vietnam era cohort from the time of completing service to 31 December 2001;
  • identify all cancers diagnosed among the male Australian National Service cohort from 1982 to 31 December 2000;
  • compare mortality and cancer incidence among the National Service cohort with the expected mortality and cancer incidence of the Australian community; and
  • compare mortality and cancer incidence of National Servicemen who went to Vietnam to that of National Servicemen who served only in Australia.