Veterans across America now have the ability to join the Million Veterans Program research project online. Launched in 2011, the national voluntary research initiative enables former military personnel to share their DNA with the Veterans Affairs Department to boost research on how genes and other factors like military exposure can impact people’s overall health. The agency’s ultimate hope is that this “will make it even easier for Veterans nationwide to take part in this landmark research effort,” Secretary Robert Wilkie said in the recent announcement.

MVP enables veterans who opt in to complete surveys about their health, lifestyle, military experience and personal and family histories, as well as make a one-time visit to a VA centre to provide a blood sample for genetic analysis. Participants don’t receive any follow-up information from the program to benefit them directly, but instead contribute the data to medical research in hopes to improve health across future generations.

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(Nextgov News, October 2019)