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  1. As you all know the recent Agent Orange Defense Dept Bill does not include HBP. I found another recent HBP due to AO award at the BVA- there are more, and some I already posted here- "In the December 2019 examination, the examiner provided a positive nexus for the Veteran’s hypertension. In support, she explained that according to medical literature, the Veteran’s hypertension is more likely due to his exposure to herbicides during service. She cited a news article that reviewed health impacts between Agent Orange exposure and hypertension. The Board finds this opinion to have probative value. While it was somewhat conclusory as it relies on the news article, the Board notes that it is the only opinion that addresses hypertension based on herbicides exposure. As such, the Board finds the opinion to have some probative value. Moreover, the Board notes that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has found that there is “limited or suggestive evidence of an association between” hypertension and exposure to herbicide agents (such as Agent Orange) based on a recent statistical study. See Determinations Concerning Illnesses Discussed in National Academy of Sciences Report: Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012, 79 Fed. Reg. 20308 (Apr. 11, 2014); see also 38 U.S.C. § 1116 (b) (2012). The category “limited or suggestive evidence of an association” means that the “evidence suggests an association between exposure to herbicides and the outcome, but a firm conclusion is limited because chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with confidence.” Id. A more recent study by NAS released on November 15, 2018, indicates that “[t]he latest in a series of congressionally mandated biennial reviews of the evidence of health problems that may be linked to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War found sufficient evidence of an association for hypertension.” NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, Hypertension Upgraded in Latest Biennial Review of Research on Health Problems in Veterans That May Be Linked to Agent Orange Exposure During Vietnam War (Nov. 15, 2018), available at: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=25137." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files1/20007929.txt In this case the C & P examiner gave a probative statement to award the claim. It still was denied at the RO level. The veteran or their rep should have sent them the actual report-it could have been awarded at the RO level,if their RO can read. I have posted a link to the National Academy Of Science Report , that many vets have used, in order for them to attain, with proof of AO exposure, a SC rating for Hypertension. I used this same report for my HBP accrued claim, but the VA said they do not have that claim, I am used to them lying, and will need to find the time to pressure them to find it or file it all over again. Due to my accrued widow status and the fact it is a Nehmer claim, the EED ( 1998) will be the same anyhow. If an AO vet has "essential" hypertension or no other known cause for it, and they were exposed to AO,they should file the claim using the above most recent report that states the "sufficient" association of HBP to AO has been determined. Unlike former Sec Shulkin Sec Wilkie sent my VARO a coy of my letter to him, making a strong argument why HBP should be an AO presumptive. Deemed as a "sufficient association" by NAS -that is a higher level of association than many of the established presumptives have. If VA has never attributed your HBP to any other cause, and you are an incountry veteran ( to inlude BWV AO vets), they would be hard pressed to suddenly find some other NSC cause for the HBP, but they might try.
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