BOX 8 Morbidity Studies of Former Prisoners of War

For nearly its entire history, the Medical Follow-up Agency has been conducting mortality (see Box 2) and morbidity studies of former prisoners of war (POWs). Although the original POW study dealt in part with morbidity, the third study in the series, published in 1975, was the first major study devoted solely to POW morbidity. It is still arguably the best single study of the health of American former prisoners of war. In this extensive article, it was reported that the most persistent sequelae of military captivity were psychiatric, manifested in higher hospitalization rates and VA disability awards. These patterns were seen in all groups of former POWs, although they were more severe among those from the Pacific theater in World War II and from the Korean War. Excess morbidity was also found to correlate well with retrospective accounts of weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, and symptoms during captivity. Data collection for the fifth study in the POW series took place during 1984–1986. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D). The study found a three-to fivefold excess in depressive symptoms among former POWs nearly 40 years after repatriation and also found that greater depression could be linked to self-reported weight loss and harshness of treatment during captivity. A number of reports have been prepared that link current depressive symptomatology with various factors. For example, it was shown that being younger and having less education at the time of capture, experiencing more medical symptoms during captivity, and receiving less social support after release were generally predictive of increased long-term psychiatric maladjustment.

Dr. Bernard Cohen and the fact that Seymour Jablon found verifying the zygosity of the twins more difficult than expected. His rotation in Japan with the ABCC for three years at a key moment in the planning process made finding computer time to run the necessary trials difficult and further slowed the process. The FBI continued to obstruct release of the remainder of the requested fingerprints for the twins cohort to the MFUA. When Jablon returned to the states and finished his computer trials, his findings were not as conclusive as he had hoped. Nonetheless, he and Professor Neel, the principal investigator on the project from the University of Michigan's Department of Human Genetics, determined that a combination of fingerprint analysis, serological testing, and, most especially, questionnaire analysis was sufficient to make the necessary determinations for formation of the NAS-NRC Twins Registry. They co-authored a paper that announced the Twins Registry to the medical world and interested a large number of investigators.114

Having anticipated this interest, Jablon and Neel brought the matter to CEVFUS in its March 1966 meeting. The committee agreed that the twins had to

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