A review article by Yale researchers reaffirms that the vast majority of people with cardiovascular disease can travel safely on airlines, provided they follow basic guidelines such as carrying an ample supply of medication or waiting two weeks to travel after having a cardiac procedure.
Published in the July 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, the article reviewed previous studies on air travel and cardiovascular disease. "We pulled together work that has been done on the topic, synthesized the findings and created evidence-based guidelines," said first author Stephen E. Possick, M.D., a cardiology fellow at Yale School of Medicine. "While other guidelines exist, ours detail both the reasons those with cardiovascular disease might be at increased risk and the data that support the safety of airline travel in most travelers with cardiovascular disease."
Concern about air travel by cardiovascular patients exists because altitude can decrease the oxygen content in blood and impair the breakdown of blood clots, potentially leading to complications. Currently there are few medical incidents on airlines: about eight medical incidents per one million flights, according to Possick. Of these incidents, 19.4 percent were cardiac related.
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
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