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ALS in the Military

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I read an interesting article from the Orlando Sentinel: “Caregivers want answers to mystery link between ALS, military service.”

Caregivers want answers to mystery link between ALS, military service | Orlando Sentinel

Well, they don’t know. What they do know is:
Per the ALS Association:

Existing evidence supports the conclusion that people who’ve served in the military are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with ALS and dying from the disease than those with no history of military service.

As outlined in this paper, study after study continues to demonstrate this to be true: If you serve in the military, regardless of the branch of service, regardless of whether you served in the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea or World War II, and regardless of whether you served during a time of peace or a time of war, you’re at a greater risk of dying from ALS than if you hadn’t served in the military.

We’re asking these questions today:

  • Why is there a greater risk of ALS with military service?
  • What are we, as a nation, going to do about it?

ALS in the Military | The ALS Association

Research conducted in the US and Denmark reveals that vets are 1.3 to 2 times more likely than non-vets to succumb to this condition, regardless of whether or not they saw active duty during wartime. 

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs began covering 100% of ALS treatments for veterans who served a minimum of 90 days in recognition of the illness as a service-connected injury.
ALS in the Military Summary
ALS in the Military Summary
Source: ALS Association

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