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 Diabetes now tops Vietnam vets' claims

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PostSubject: Diabetes now tops Vietnam vets' claims   Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:05 am


RALEIGH, N.C. – By his own reckoning, a Navy buy ff14 gold electrician spent just eight hours in Vietnam, during a layover on his flight back to the U.S. in 1966. He bought some cigarettes and cheap ff14 gil snapped a few photos.
The jaunt didn't make for much of a war story, and there is no record it ever happened. But the man successfully argued that he may have been exposed to Agent Orange buy ffxiv gold during his stopover and buy ff14 gil that it might have caused his diabetes — even though decades of research into the defoliant have failed to find more than a possibility that it causes the disease.
Because of worries about Agent cheap ffxiv gil Orange, about 270,000 Vietnam veterans — more than one-quarter of the 1 million receiving disability checks — are getting compensation for diabetes, cheap ffxiv gold according to Department of Veterans Affairs records obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act.
More Vietnam veterans are being compensated for diabetes cheap ff14 cd key than for any other malady, including post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss or general wounds.
Tens of thousands of other claims for cheap ff14 power leveling common ailments of age — erectile dysfunction among them — are getting paid as well because of a possible link, direct or cheap ffxiv power leveling indirect, to Agent Orange.
And the taxpayers may soon be responsible for even more: The VA said Monday that it will add heart disease, Parkinson's disease and certain types of leukemia to the list cheap ffxiv gil of conditions that might be connected to Agent Orange. The agency estimates that the new rules, which will go into effect cheap ffxiv gil in two months unless Congress intervenes, will cost $42 billion over the next 10 years.
Lawmakers and federal officials who have reservations buy ff14 gil about the spending are loath to criticize a program that helps servicemen. They have largely ignored a 2008 report in which a group cheap ffxiv gold of scientists said the decision to grant benefits to so many on such little evidence was "quite extreme."
"There needs to be a discussion about the cheap ffxiv gold costs, about how to avoid false positives while also trying to be sure the system bends over backwards to be fair to the veterans," said Jonathan M. Samet, ff14 gold a public health expert who led that study and now serves as director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California.
The VA uses a complex formula when awarding benefits and does not cheap ff14 time card track how much is spent for a specific ailment, but AP calculations based on the records suggest that ffxiv cd key Vietnam veterans with diabetes should receive at least $850 million each year. That does not include the hefty costs of retroactive payments or additional costs for health care. The agency spends $34 billion a year on final fantasy xiv cd key disability benefits for all wars.
Dr. Victoria Anne Cassano, director of radiation and physical exposures at the Veterans Health Administration, final fantasy 14 cd key part of the VA, pointed to the wording of the 1991 federal law on Agent Orange that said officials should find a positive link to diseases "if the credible evidence for the association is equal to or outweighs the final fantasy 14 time card credible evidence against the association."
It's a buy ffxiv cd key low bar. But Cassano said the law requires the VA to act without consideration of cost. She also said it is the best way to ensure that deserving veterans don't get final fantasy xiv cd key lost in the shuffle.
"Does it make you take a deep breath? Does it give you pause? Yes," she said. "But you still do what you think is the right thing ffxiv time card to do."
Agent Orange was a dioxin-laden defoliant that was sprayed over jungles to strip the Viet Cong of cover. American forces often got a soaking, too, and Agent Orange ffxiv time card was later conclusively linked to several horrific health ailments, including cancers. So Congress and the VA final fantasy 14 cd key set up a system to automatically award benefits to veterans who needed only to prove that they were in Vietnam at any time during a 13-year period and later got one of the illnesses connected to ffxiv time card Agent Orange.
The VA, interpreting that 1991 law and studies that indicated potential associations, has over time added ailments that have no strong scientific link to final fantasy 14 cd key Agent Orange. The nonprofit Institute of Medicine's biennial scientific analysis of available research, to which the VA looks for ffxiv item guidance, has repeatedly found only the possibility of a link between Agent Orange and diabetes, and that even a chance of a correlation is outweighed by factors such as family history, physical inactivity and cheap ff14 account obesity.
"Whatever the relationship between dioxin or Agent Orange and diabetes, it's a very small piece of the puzzle," said Dr. David Tollerud, an environmental health professor cheap ff14 cd key at the University of Louisville. He led an Institute of Medicine committee that first reported in 2000 on a possible link between ffxiv item diabetes and Agent Orange.
Tollerud's committee concluded that evidence was limited and that chance or other factors could buy ffxiv item not be ruled out. Yet the VA in 2001 put diabetes on the list of ailments that get automatic approval for benefits.
One large study released since then, costing $143 million ffxiv item and published in 2005 after 25 years of research, surveyed the airmen responsible for loading and dumping Agent Orange during Operation Ranch Hand, as the buy ffxiv item spraying missions were called. The final round of testing actually showed the prevalence of diabetes among those participants cheap ffxiv time card was slightly lower than among pilots who did not take part — 18.2 percent versus 19.3 percent.
Some 23 percent of Americans 60 and older have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and ff14 item Prevention.
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