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Environmental Hazards Study: Mortality Among U.S. Service Members Deployed to Karshi-Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan

Introduction

A study investigated deaths among U.S. service members who served at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan between October 2001–December 2005. Researchers looked at factors like age, race, and branch of service. They found no clear link between serving at K2 and overall death rates from  Oct. 1, 2001 - Dec. 31, 2019.

Background

The U.S. military used K2 from late 2001 through 2005 to support operations in Afghanistan. Service members stationed there raised concerns about the base’s environmental conditions and possible health risks. News reports about these concerns led to an investigation by Congress. This resulted in a law requiring the Department of Defense to study the environmental conditions at K2. The first step was to compare death rates of service members who served at K2 with those who did not.

Key Finding

The study found no significant difference in overall death rates between service members who served at K2 and those who did not. To fully understand the impact of serving at K2, a more in-depth study of health issues is necessary.

Next Steps

The finished study helped inform a second, ongoing, and more detailed investigation focusing on specific illnesses instead of death rates. The Johns Hopkins University and the Veterans Health Administration have partnered to conduct this in-depth study of other health outcomes associated with K2 deployment.

For more information, contact the Armed Forces Health Surveillance DivisionEmail to AFHSD

Last Updated: July 08, 2024
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