ing the MFUA the opportunity to return to the psychiatric studies that had been an early emphasis but had "faded out in the 50's."123

In this period as well, the agency continued such projects as the long-term follow-up of men with lumbar disk lesions in World War II, the therapeutic trials of adjuvants to surgical resection in the treatment of cancer, and the study of the natural history of multiple sclerosis. Corroborating a detailed clinical study from 1947 to 1951, an analysis of the possible association between viral hepatitis and subsequent cirrhosis of the liver failed to find a correlation in a mortality follow-up of more than 5,000 Army veterans with viral hepatitis in World War II. Preliminary results from a broad examination of blood type in relation to occlusive and hemorrhagic disease showed that a sample of 816 World War II veterans with records of myocardial infarction had blood type O less frequently than was statistically predicted.124

Despite these varied activities, the agency's financial solvency was far from assured. The threat of impending financial hardship led some committee members to suggest that the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) "should participate in the general institutional support of the MFUA as compensation for its continuing contribution to the ABCC statistical program." Although the AEC arrangement included salary for staff and expenses for their rotations in Japan, committee members argued that the staff exchange was placing a financial burden on the agency that required compensation. Ultimately, nothing came of this matter, in part because Beebe publicly denied that the arrangement in any way weakened the MFUA's program. Still, the very suggestion demonstrated the committee's understanding of both MFUA's financial stringency and the strains that the ABCC rotations placed on the continuity of personnel in the follow-up program. By 1970, the Medical Follow-up Agency staff had dedicated 15 "man-years" to the ABCC rotation. 125

Although few new studies were added in 1970, significant progress was made in ongoing studies. However, Beebe faced a difficult situation with the resignation of Dean Nefzger in February to take a position with the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Efforts to find a qualified replacement took a surprisingly long time, and some projects suffered from the delay of transition, although Nefzger offered to manage several of them temporarily from his new workplace.

In the meantime, work continued on the agency's disparate ongoing projects. Preliminary results for a mortality follow-up of 10,000 inductees discharged from the Army in 1944 for psychoneurosis showed that mortality risk was greater for those who had been diagnosed with psychoneurosis than for the control group. Agency staff presented a paper on regional differences in mortality from cerebrovascular diseases at a conference on stroke epidemiology and began planning for a third test of the completeness of VA information on the mortality of the general population of war veterans. Planning efforts started on a study of behavior patterns in coronary heart disease; an examination of bleeding as a potential



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement