The Vietnam Era Twin (VET) Registry is composed of 7369 middle-aged male-male twin pairs both of whom served in the military during the time of the Vietnam conflict (1965-1975). The Registry is a United States Department of Veterans Affairs resource that was originally constructed from military records; the Registry has been in existence for more than 15 years. It is one of the largest national twin registries in the US and currently has subjects living in all 50 states. Initially formed to address questions about the long-term health effects of service in Vietnam the Registry has evolved into a resource for genetic epidemiologic studies of mental and physical health conditions. The management and administration of the VET Registry is described with particular attention given to the processes involved with database maintenance and study coordination. Several waves of mail and telephone surveys have collected a wealth of health-related information on Registry twins. More recent data collection efforts have focused on specific sets of twin pairs and conducted detailed clinical or laboratory testing. New Registry initiatives for the future include the construction of a web site and the development of a DNA repository.
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