Title

The long-term impact of war on health and wellbeing in Northern Vietnam: Some glimpses from a recent survey

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-2012

Abstract

War is considered one of the most intransigent obstacles to development; yet, the long-run effects of war on individual health have rarely been examined in the context of developing countries. Based on unique data recently collected as a pilot follow-up to the Vietnam Longitudinal Survey, this study examines health status of northern Vietnamese war cohorts (those who entered adulthood during the Vietnam War and now represent Vietnam’s older-adult population). To ascertain whether and how war impacts old-age physical and mental health, we compare multi-dimensional measures of health among war survivors, including civilians, combatants, noncombatants, and nonveterans involved in militia activities. Multivariate results suggest that despite prolonged exposure to war and trauma, combat and noncombat veterans are not significantly different from their civilian counterparts in terms of self-rated, functional, and mental health in older adult years. That we do not observe war’s adverse effects for veterans might be explained by the encompassing extent of war in northern Vietnamese society.

Keywords

War, Health, Military service, Veterans, Civilians, Vietnam

Discipline

Asian Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Medicine and Health | Politics and Social Change

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

Social Science and Medicine

Volume

74

Issue

12

First Page

1995

Last Page

2004

ISSN

0277-9536

Identifier

10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.01.040

Publisher

Elsevier

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.01.040