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Military veterans genomics research project launched
A new national genetic research programme has been launched by the US Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Research and Development.
The Million Veteran Program (MVP) will create a large-scale database detailing genetic and health data from military veterans, along with information about their lifestyles and military exposures. Data will be made securely available to authorised giovernment and academic researchers for ‘studies to determine which genetic variations are associated with particular health issues’, with a view to developing improved methods for ‘preventing and treating illnesses in Veterans and all Americans’. Participation is voluntary.
The VA office is well equipped to create a large-scale and potentially very valuable research resource such as this, having advanced electronic health records for veterans coupled to healthcare providers and genomic research laboratories. No information is given about the nature of uniquely military exposures and health outcomes that may be of particular interest to the VA researchers – one possibility might be research into genetic predisposition to adverse psychological reactions to trauma, for example.