Agent Orange, a defoliant used during the Vietnam War, has been linked to two other health conditions according to research by an expert panel. It appears that those who were exposed to the chemical are more likely to develop Ischemic heart disease and Parkinson’s. The 14 member team that made the report, a group selected by the Institute of Medicine, was given the task of researching if those exposed to herbicides used to defoliate stretches of jungle were more likely to contract diseases later.
The report, although its findings aren’t irrefutable, is expected to help veteran groups that have been making just such claims for many years gain coverage for Parkinson’s and ischemic heart disease among others. The institute of Medicine has found at least 17 such conditions to be connected to use of Agent Orange since 1994 alone, 13 of these are covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The report makes it clear that while certain chemicals are linked to Parkinson’s Disease research has yet to begin on veterans suffering the condition. Its findings on isometric heart disease ( a condition that causes heart damage by slowing blood flow to the heart and causing irregular heart beat) could also be unclear due to the effects smoking, age and weight could have on the results.