The US Department of Veterans Affairs launched the program in 2011 with the aim of developing a database of genetic information coupled with survey and health record information to power studies of conditions common among veterans as well as chronic and other conditions found among all Americans. Since then, data from the Million Veteran Program has been used in studies of peripheral artery disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, among others.
But, as the Military Times reports, the cohort skews male. Of the 840,000 veteran participants, it says only 75,000 are female. It notes that the participation rate in the program is similar between male and female veterans, but that women only make up about 10 percent of the veteran population, a portion that is expected to increase to more than 18 percent in 20 years.
As large numbers are needed for genetic studies, the Military Times says the VA is working to boost the number of female veterans in the program.