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.


  • Long-Term Health Consequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in ... Released: October 31, 2011
    Many veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have health problems they believe are related to their exposure to the smoke from the burning of waste in open-air “burn pits” on military bases. Particular controversy surrounds the burn pit used to dispose of solid waste at Joint Base Balad in Iraq, which burned up to 200 tons of waste per day in 2007. The Department of Veterans Affairs asked the IOM to form a committee to determine the long-term health effects from exposure to these burn pits. Insufficient evidence prevented the IOM committee from developing firm conclusions. This report, therefore, recommends that, along with more efficient data-gathering methods, a study be conducted that would evaluate the health status of service members from their time of deployment over many years to determine their incidence of chronic diseases.
  • Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange ... Released: May 20, 2011
    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established that Vietnam veterans are automatically eligible for disability benefits should they develop any diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure—but veterans who served on deep sea vessels in Vietnam are not included. These “Blue Water Navy” veterans must prove they were exposed to Agent Orange before they can claim benefits. At the request of the VA, the IOM examined whether Blue Water Navy veterans had similar exposures to Agent Orange as other Vietnam veterans.
  • Use of Dietary Supplements by Military Personnel : Health and ... Released: June 09, 2008
    The use of dietary supplements has become increasingly popular among members of the military. While some supplements may provide benefits to health, others could carry adverse effects that might compromise the readiness and performance of service members. The U.S. Department of Defense, the Samueli Institute, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with additional support from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the use of dietary supplements by military personnel, recommending a framework to identify the need for management of dietary supplement use within the military, and developing an approach to report adverse health events.
  • Health Effects in Army Gulf War Veterans Possibly Exposed to ... Released: November 07, 2005
    The purpose of this study was to examine the association of notification of potential exposure to chemical warfare agents in the 1991 Gulf War with subsequent self-reported morbidity.
  • Mortality in US Army Gulf War Veterans Exposed to 1991 ... Released: July 25, 2005
    A research paper to be published in the August 2005 issue of the American Journal of Public Health finds that Gulf War veterans who may have been exposed to nerve agents during the March 1991 weapons demolitions in Khamisiyah, Iraq, appear to have a higher risk for brain cancer death than veterans who were not exposed.
  • Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments: Applications for ... Released: January 01, 1993
    This volume examines the current state of knowledge concerning the influence of a hot environment on nutrient requirements of military personnel. A parallel concern is ensuring that performance does not decline as a result of inadequate nutrition. The committee provides a thorough review of the literature in this area and interprets the diverse data in terms of military applications. In addition to a focus on specific nutrient needs in hot climates, the committee considers factors that might change food intake patterns and therefore overall calories.