VA encourages veterans to enroll in the Million Veterans program

If you are 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 Veteran Program (MVP) by Veterans Day. MVP is one of the largest genetic research programs in the world, with more than 875,000 veterans who have joined the program since its launch in 2011.

From voluntarily donated DNA samples, researchers can gather information about veterans’ genetics, military exposure, lifestyle, and health. MVP has strict security measures to protect the privacy of veterans who enroll in the program, including a privacy certificate from the National Institutes of Health.

The data collected is used by researchers to better understand a myriad of issues. This includes predicting breast cancer risk, diabetes complications, managing mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression, and studying cardiovascular disease.

More than 500 researchers across more than 40 projects worked to uncover new discoveries about conditions including anxiety, PTSD, heart disease, kidney disease, cancers and more. MVP researchers have published over 125 publications since 2018. Research findings from MVP data will one day help bring personalized medicine to the forefront of VA healthcare.

One of the biggest goals of the program has been to enlist more female veterans. Historically, women have been underrepresented in biological and medical research. This makes it difficult to ensure that new treatments, screenings and medical breakthroughs work for women as well as men. Women currently make up about 9% of MVP registrants.

Joining the program is simple. By creating or connecting to a AccessVA account, veterans can 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 answer inquiries about their health, lifestyle, and military experience.

To learn more about MVP or to register, visit mvp.va.gov.

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