If you’re a veteran, you can be an MVP for VA and future generations of veterans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to enroll one million veterans in its Million Veterans Program (MVP) by Veterans Day. MVP is one of the world’s largest genetic research programs, with more than 875,000 veterans joining the program since its launch in 2011.
From the voluntarily donated DNA samples, researchers can collect genetic, military exposure, lifestyle and health information from veterans. MVP has strict security measures to protect the privacy of veterans who enroll in the program, including a Certificate of Confidentiality from the National Institutes of Health.
The data collected is used by researchers to better understand a myriad of issues. This includes predicting the risk of breast cancer, complications from diabetes, managing mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression, as well as studying cardiovascular disease.
More than 500 researchers across over 40 projects have worked to discover new findings about conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, heart disease, kidney disease, cancers and more. Researchers from MVP have more than 125 publications since 2018. Research discoveries from MVP data will someday help bring personalized medicine to the forefront of VA health care.
One of the program’s biggest goals has been enrolling more women veterans. Historically, women are underrepresented in biological and medical research. This makes ensuring new treatments, screenings and medical breakthroughs work just as well for women as they do for men difficult. Women presently make up approximately 9% of MVP enrollees.
Joining the program is simple. By creating or signing into an AccessVA account, veterans are able to complete the consent process and allow access to their health records. From there, they can schedule a visit at their convenience to provide a blood sample and complete surveys about their health, lifestyle and military experience.
To learn more about MVP or to join, visit mvp.va.gov.