About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne ... Released: February 28, 2017
    Concerns over possible adverse effects of wartime exposure to smoke from trash burning in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations in Southwest Asia have stimulated both research and Congressional action. Public Law 112-260, § 201 (enacted January 10, 2013) directed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish and maintain a registry for service members who may have been exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes generated by open burn pits. VA asked the National Academies to take on the responsibility to fulfill a provision of this law that called for an independent scientific organization to prepare a report addressing issues related to the establishment and conduct of the registry and use of the information it collects.
  • Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014 : Health and ... Released: March 10, 2016
    From 1962 to 1971, US military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam. Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to address whether exposure to these herbicides contributed to long term health effects in Vietnam veterans. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to request the IOM to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding possible health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam or to TCDD and other chemicals in those herbicides. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014 is the tenth and last congressionally mandated biennial update. The current update presents this committee’s review of peer-reviewed scientific reports relevant to this question that were published between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2014, and its integration with the previously established evidence database.
  • Gulf War and Health: Volume 10: Update of Health Effects of ... Released: February 11, 2016
    In response to the variety of health problems and symptoms reported by veterans, Congress passed two laws directing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review and evaluate the scientific and medical literature regarding associations between illness and exposure to toxic agents, environmental or wartime hazards, or preventive measures and vaccines associated with Gulf War service.
  • Assessing Health Outcomes Among Veterans of Project SHAD ... Released: January 08, 2016
    In the 1960s, close to 5,900 military personnel, mostly Navy and Marines, participated in Project SHAD—a series of classified tests of U.S. warship vulnerability to biological and chemical warfare agents.
  • Considerations for Designing an Epidemiologic Study for ... Released: December 11, 2015
    The Department of Veterans Affairs requested that the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to respond to Public Law 110-389 enacted in 2008 to determine the incidence and prevalence, as well as the risk of developing multiple sclerosis and other neurologic diseases as a result of service in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf and post 9/11 Global Operations theaters.
  • The Air Force Health Study Assets Research Program : Health ... Released: April 17, 2015
    Longitudinal prospective studies that follow a population for an extended period (a decade or more) are the gold standard of observational epidemiologic studies, but they are uncommon due to great expense and time needed to conduct them. Even rarer are well-designed cohort studies that include the collection and storage of biospecimens for use in current and future analyses, such as the Air Force Health Study (AFHS). The AFHS is prospective epidemiologic study followed a cohort of 2,700 men for approximately 20 years.
  • Review of VA Clinical Guidance for the Health Conditions ... Released: March 11, 2015
    U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune covers about 156,000 acres in eastern North Carolina, and at any given time is home to about 170,000 active-duty personnel, family members, retirees, and civilian employees who live on base or in the surrounding community. Between 1957 and 1987, the groundwater at Camp Lejeune was inadvertently contaminated with chemicals, primarily industrial solvents. Many of these chemicals were later found to cause cancer and other health problems, although not all of them were recognized as toxic at the time of contamination.
  • Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange ... Released: January 09, 2015
    The VA asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to evaluate whether service in ORH C-123s could have exposed AF Reservists to herbicide residues at levels harmful to their health. In Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange–Contaminated C-123 Aircraft, an expert IOM committee performs a qualitative assessment based on the science and evidence available.
  • Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and ... Released: June 20, 2014
    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the signature injuries of the U.S. conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. An estimated 8 percent of current and former service members deployed to these areas have a PTSD diagnosis. For these men and women, readjustment from combat zone deployments and reintegra¬tion into families and communities may be significantly hampered by chronic distress and disability in physical, psychological, social, and occupational functioning. A provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 required the Secretary of the Department of Defense (DoD), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to commission an IOM study to assess PTSD treatment programs and ser¬vices in DoD and VA. The IOM report offers recommendations and guidance for improv¬ing processes and infrastructure to allow DoD and VA to respond more strategically and effectively to the increasing prevalence of PTSD among U.S. service members and veterans.
  • Research on Health Effects of Low-Level Ionizing Radiation ... Released: June 11, 2014
    The Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) is a Department of Defense (DoD) support agency established in 1961. AFRRI is focused on the prevention, assessment, and treatment of injuries from ionizing radiation exposure through research to better understand health effects. The institute also provides education to inform medical and emergency response to radiation exposure incidents. There is no other DoD-level organization with such a comprehensive and broad-scoped mission in radiological health and protection. The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, AFRRI’s parent organization, asked the IOM to summarize the state of scientific research about the health effects of exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation exposure, examine workforce projections and needs, and identify opportunities for AFRRI to contribute to the field.