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VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP)

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How We Are Helping



Over the past 40 years, we’ve performed more than 200 research studies that have influenced how physicians treat patients in areas that include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infectious diseases, and mental health conditions. Today, in more than 80 VA medical centers across the country, our investigators—among the best scientists and clinicians in the country—continue their search for the safest and most effective ways to help Veterans and other patients like you.

Making an Impact—Today and In the Future

The impact of our work has been powerful for patients—past, present, and toward the future. Specifically, for our Veterans, we’ve led transformational efforts that include:

  • Developing a genetic cohort of more than 450,000 Veterans who use the VA healthcare system
  • Creating the largest long-term outcomes study on women who served during the Vietnam War
  • Conducting an observational study of posttraumatic stress disorder and neuropsychological outcomes after military service in the Iraq War
  • Creating the largest research cohort of Veterans with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Finding that prolonged exposure therapy, a psychotherapy technique, works for women Veterans with PTSD

While CSP is focused on the health of our Veterans, our investigations extend beyond Veteran-specific health issues to research that benefits all of us. Among the many areas we’ve touched and continue to affect through important clinical trials include:

  • Establishing that treatment of high blood pressure with medications can prevent cardiovascular outcomes and death
  • Showing the benefits of coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Presenting evidence that using steroids to treat patients with septic shock can prevent death
  • Showing that aspirin reduces heart attacks and deaths in patients with unstable chest pain
  • Demonstrating the efficacy of a vaccine for preventing shingles, a painful condition associated with the chicken pox virus
  • Proving that invasive coronary procedures for heart patients adds no benefit over optimal drug therapy and lifestyle changes
  • Demonstrating that deep brain stimulation may be helpful for patients with Parkinson’s disease


Updated May 2018

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