Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

That war-induced stress influences morbidity, mortality, psychological conditions and quality of life in the long term is understood almost exclusively as a result of analyses of the lives and health of American veterans of twentieth century wars. A relatively small but significant body of work has demonstrated war's enduring health consequences among nonwestern veteran populations (e.g., Lebanon war) and among civilians who survived years in arm's length of armed conflict, bombings, and heavy casualty tolls that touched families and loved ones (de Jong…) Boscarino and colleagues' many studies (2006a, 2006b, 2008) reveal that, over thirty years after hostilities ended, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains a significant predictor of all cause, cardiovascular, cancer and external cause mortality among US military veterans of the Vietnam War. In contrast to a voluminous literature exploring PTSD, chronic illness and other dimensions of physical and mental health in US veterans who served in the Vietnam War, and increasingly nuanced understandings of military service in the life course and health trajectories of older Americans (Wilmoth, London & Parker 2010), little to nothing is known about these Americans' counterparts – the Vietnamese who fought the same battles, but on the side of North Vietnam, as soldiers, militia members and affected civilians. In this paper we make an initial attempt to fill this empirical gap in a population of aging survivors whose post-conflict experiences diverge widely from those of returned US soldiers.

Discipline

Medicine and Health

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

Western Regional International Health Conference

City or Country

Seattle, WA, USA

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