Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Heart Health Risk to Frequent Flyers

KLM pilot suffers heart attack during runway taxi at Glasgow Airport

A recent news item highlighted once again, the heart health risk associated with the frequent flying lifestyle.  

While cardiovascular disease is not exclusive to pilots and frequent flyers there are some facts about cardiovascular disease and flying worth  a mention.

Cardiac arrests have the highest percentage of deaths for any ailment on board flights. One study of medical emergencies over a 3 year period looked at data from 5 airlines and 12,000 passengers. Only 0.3 per cent suffered cardiac arrests. Of that percentage which is 38 people, 31 died. 

Risk factors include

  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight and obesity
  • A Poor diet*
  • Physical inactivity*
  • Excessive alcohol use*
*Note - Risk factors often common to frequent flyers of all walks of life.

As a frequent flyer what can you do about it? 

Awareness is a good starting point. Risk factors from flying need to be addressed by all flyers alongside or in the absence of reactive medical action, i.e. private medical insurance is not enough.

Flyers deserve a mixture of the right type of support from the usual channels of healthcare with a mix of preventative tools, in short flyers must place priority cardiovascular health through their own actions.

Did you know?
  • The constant pressurisation and depressurisation of the aircraft cabin can lead to a condition called Vascular Remodelling.
  • Vascular remodelling is part of the pathway that can lead to congestive heart failure if not dealt with.
  • Supplementation with D-Ribose is one way of addressing heart health.
  • Rhodiola is a herb useful for prevention of the deterioration of the endothelium, implicated in cardiovascular health.

Contact us at here to book an appointment, find out more about the healthy flying habit and get started on your road to beating jet lag whenever you travel.


Ps - Always work with your primary healthcare practitioner when making important health decisions.


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