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News Briefs from Preventive Medicine 2008
Date:2/21/2008

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A new take on pilots' health, workplace injuries connected to chronic illness, and ignorance about antibiotics are among studies to be presented at Preventive Medicine 2008, the American College of Preventive Medicine's Annual Meeting February 20-23, 2008 in Austin, Texas.

Long-Haul Flights May be Hazardous to Pilots' Health

This study investigated if acute stress phenomena associated with frequent take offs and landings of pilots flying short-haul carriers (less than four hours flying) would have a greater impact on their instances of cardiovascular disease compared to those of pilots flying long-haul flights (longer than eight hours continuous flying). Researchers studied pilots from two commercial airline carriers for cardiovascular disease using a web-based algorithm that assesses the extent and severity of the following risk factors:
-- Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build-up)

-- Plaque formation

-- Plaque vulnerability

In the short-flight carrier, 178 pilots with an average age of 42 were compared to a long-haul carrier with an average age of 47. Long-range carrier pilots showed significantly more atherosclerotic disease as compared to those who flew for the short-range carrier. Jacques Barth, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study concluded, "A more extensive assessment of cardiovascular disease should be conducted on all pilots and portable low-cost evaluations using ultrasound should be considered."

(Continuous Long-Haul Flights in Pilots may be Deleterious to Cardiovascular Health; Abstract 186784)

Workplace Injuries Linked to Chronic Health Conditions

Researchers conducted a one-year case controlled study of workers at the Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN, to find out if chronic health conditions were a contributing factor to workplace injury. Cases of all employees who incurred injuries at work during the
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SOURCE American College of Preventive Medicine
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