Pregnancy outcomes among U.S. women Vietnam veterans

Han K. Kang, Clare M. Mahan, Kyung Y. Lee, Carol A. Magee, Susan H. Mather, Genevieve Matanoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Since the 1965-1975 Vietnam War, there has been persistent concern that women who served in the U.S. military in Vietnam may have experienced adverse pregnancy outcomes. Methods: We compared self-reported pregnancy outcomes for 4,140 women Vietnam veterans with those of 4,140 contemporary women veterans who were not deployed to Vietnam. As a measure of association, we calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using logistic regression adjusting for age at conception, race, education, military nursing status, smoking, drinking and other exposures during pregnancy. Result: There was no statistically significant association between military service in Vietnam and index pregnancies resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth, low birth weight, pre-term delivery, or infant death. The risk of having children with 'moderate-to-severe' birth defects was significantly elevated among Vietnam veterans (adjusted OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.06-2.02). Conclusion: The risk of birth defects among index children was significantly associated with mother's military service in Vietnam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 14 2000


  • Pregnancy outcomes
  • Vietnam war
  • Women veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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