Travel Health :

Health Issues Aboard Airplanes More Common


As people with preexisting health conditions take more airplane trips and flight times lengthen, medical problems aboard planes are increasing.

A study published online in the Lancet in Feb 2009 cited growing health care issues associated with air travel such as the association between blood clots and long-haul flights, radiation exposure, jet lag and cabin air quality. Even for healthy passengers, low cabin pressure associated with cruising altitudes can cause minor abdominal cramping and ear pain. People should not travel for 14 days after major surgery because of the risk of complications cased by low cabin pressure, the study said.

"In the modern travel era, clear understanding of the medical consequences of commercial flights has become increasingly important," the study's authors wrote. "Individuals need to be aware of the possible medical complications of air travel, and physicians should identify people at potential risk from air travel and advise them of any necessary treatments to travel safety."

© 2009 The Nation's Health. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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