News & Events

Graves’ Disease and Agent Orange

A study linking Graves’ disease with exposure to Agent Orange – a defoliant that was used during the Vietnam War – was published in 2010 by the University at Buffalo Department of Medicine. The herbicide contains dioxin, which has chemical properties similar to the thyroid hormones. Lead author Ajay Varanasi, MD, noted, “Our findings show that Vietnam veterans who came in contact with Agent Orange are more likely to develop Graves’ disease than those who avoided exposure”. The researchers found that Graves’ disease was over three times more prevalent in veterans who were exposed than those who were not.

We recently received an update from community member Jake George and are sharing his story with permission:

I received notification from the VA yesterday that my thyroid eye disease was approved secondary to my thyroid disease as a service related disability due to agent Orange exposure. I received a rating of 30% disability. What this means is the VA determined my thyroid disease was caused by my exposure to agent orange and my TED was caused by my thyroid disease so both are covered by the VA. If you are a veteran who was exposed to agent orange visit the VA to review the PACT act to see if you qualify.

Thanks, Jake, for sharing your story!