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Title: Design and measurement in a study of war exposure, health, and aging: Protocol for the Vietnam health and aging study
Authors: Korinek, K.
Teerawichitchainan, B. 
Zimmer, Z.
Brindle, E.
Nguyen, T.K.C.
Nguyen, H.M.
Tran, K.T.
Keywords: Aging
Armed conflict
Field-based biomarker collection
Post traumatic stress
Study protocol
Survey research
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Citation: Korinek, K., Teerawichitchainan, B., Zimmer, Z., Brindle, E., Nguyen, T.K.C., Nguyen, H.M., Tran, K.T. (2019). Design and measurement in a study of war exposure, health, and aging: Protocol for the Vietnam health and aging study. BMC Public Health 19 (1) : 1351. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: Survivors of war throughout the world experience illnesses and injuries that are crucial to understand, given the ongoing treatment and adaptation they demand. In developing countries like Vietnam, where population aging and chronic disease burdens are rapidly rising, aging populations have seen a disproportionate share of armed conflict and related casualties. This paper describes the Vietnam Health and Aging Study (VHAS), a unique resource for investigating mechanisms of association between diverse exposures to armed conflict during the Vietnam War and multiple dimensions of older adult health among survivors of that war. Methods: The VHAS utilizes a longitudinal design, the first wave of data collection conducted in 2018 among 2447 older adults. A second wave of follow-up data collection, scheduled to take place in 2021, will examine life course, social relational and health and mortality transitions. The VHAS was conducted in four northern Vietnamese districts purposively selected to represent a spectrum of war exposure as indicated by intensity of bombings. Additionally, VHAS uses random sampling within gender and military service subdomains to permit unique gender-specific analyses of military service, trauma exposure and health. The VHAS' face-to-face interviews include modules detailing war and military service experiences; warzone stressors; and multiple dimensions of health such as chronic disease, functional limitation, disability, health behaviors, cognition and psychological health. Biomarker data collected for the full VHAS sample includes anthropometric and functional tests such as grip strength and blood pressure, hair samples for cortisol assay, and capillary blood samples to assay C-reactive protein, cholesterol, HbA1c, and other markers of interest for cardiovascular and other disease risks and for testing the impact of early life stressors on later life health. Blood samples will also permit epigenetic analysis of biological aging. Discussion: Future VHAS investigations will examine dynamic linkages between war exposure, mortality and morbidity, while taking into account the selective nature of each of these processes. Longitudinal analyses will examine late-life health transitions and war-related resiliency. © 2019 The Author(s).
Source Title: BMC Public Health
ISSN: 1471-2458
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-7680-6
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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