HealthDay News — There is stronger evidence of a link between the herbicide Agent Orange and bladder cancer and hypothyroidism among U.S. military personnel exposed to the chemical during the Vietnam War, a new Institute of Medicine report shows.

For this report, the authors looked at studies published between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2014. The report is the final in a series of biennial reviews on the health effects of Agent Orange ordered by Congress. The stronger evidence of a connection between Agent Orange and bladder cancer and hypothyroidism comes from a large study of U.S. veterans of the Korean War who also served in the Vietnam War.

However, the report authors said a study of U.S. Air Force members who served in the Vietnam War and animal studies have not found any proof that Agent Orange is linked with spina bifida. As a result, a possible association between parental exposure to Agent Orange and spina bifida was downgraded from “limited or suggestive” in the previous report to “inadequate or insufficient” in the final report.

The report committee also concluded that military personnel exposed to Agent Orange who have Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms can file a claim for the condition.


  1. Latest Biennial Review of Health Problems That May Be Linked to Agent Orange Exposure During Vietnam War Updates Bladder Cancer and Hypothyroidism, Downgrades Spina Bifida [news release]. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Published March 10, 2016. Accessed March 17, 2016.