Armed Forces News

The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking veteran-volunteers to take part in a project that ultimately would help improve diagnosis and delivery of care to them. With the Million Veteran Program (MVP), VA would create a large database of veterans’health records. It would focus upon collecting genetic history, military exposure, life style and health information from volunteer participants.

With the enhanced increase in its pool of genetic information, VA researchers and caregivers hope to formulate improved protocols for treatment, risk assessment, and prevention of diseases and other health-related conditions.

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VA hopes to enroll at least one million veterans into MVP during the next seven years, at which point the database would become one of the largest in the country.

Veterans who opt to participate would do so without any worry of compromising or losing the health care and benefits for which they qualify. Also, the agency wants veterans to know that the information they provide will be stored with extensive privacy safeguards in place. The information will be given the highest priority in terms of patient security and confidentiality.

“Veterans – and in fact all Americans – stand to benefit greatly as researchers learn more about the effects of genes on health,” VA said in a statement published on its web site. “MVP will lead to knew knowledge about the which genes put people at risk for certain diseases, and which ones affect how people respond to treatment.”

In time, such information could lead to improved treatment for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other more common illnesses.

Volunteers would need to:

* Fill out surveys relating to health and health-related behavior.

* Provide blood samples.

* Allow VA to store and have access to past, present and future medical and health information.

* Agree to a future contract.

For more information about MVP, visit www.research.va.gov/mvp or call toll free: (866) 441-6075.