Military Service, Stressful Events and Post-Trauma Symptoms in a Sample of North Vietnamese Older Adults

Kim Korinek, University of Utah

To shed light on the lasting effects of war among Vietnamese older adults, one of the populations most affected by war in the 20th century, we analyze a pilot study of older adults currently residing in Vietnam’s Red River Delta and document the experience of distressful events among veterans and civilians that occurred around the time of the Second Indochina War (1965-75). We examine the lasting impacts of war-time stressors as revealed by their association with post-trauma symptoms and self-reported health. Multivariate analyses suggest post-trauma symptoms persistent to the present time are associated with combat service and service in Lao and Cambodia. Among men, significant association between war-time traumas and self-reported health in late adulthood is observed. Having seriously injured or killed in combat, and having been exposed to toxic chemicals, are the two most salient combat stressors, of those enumerated, impacting self-reported health in late adulthood.

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Presented in Poster Session 4