Vets urged to get diabetes tests
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NOVEMBER 3, 2000

On Thursday, leaders of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs (VA) called on Vietnam veterans to get screened for diabetes.

Referring to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, members of the committee say Vietnam veterans are at an increased risk to develop Type 2 diabetes. They are urging veterans to seek a routine health examination for the disease.

As many as 8 to 11 percent of the 2.6 million veterans may now have diabetes. It also disproportionately affects African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians.

The call for testing, however, comes soon after another report which suggests diabetes in Vietnam veterans might be linked to the use of herbicides such as Agent Orange during the war. The report didn't make a clear link between the two, but the Secretary of Veterans Affairs might decide that they are inter-related, which may lead to compensation for some.

Representative Mike Bilirakis reminded veterans they can get health care from the VA. "Many veterans who served in Vietnam are not aware that they can obtain health care from the VA, and that in most cases there will not be any charge."

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Relevant Links:
The House Committee on Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs -