Mortality experience of cockpit crewmembers from Japan Airlines

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1993 Aug;64(8):748-50.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term mortality and causes of death among cockpit crewmembers. A total of 2,327 cockpit crewmembers registered at Japan Airlines between August 1, 1952, and December 31, 1988, were traced to assess mortality. Medical records were also reviewed. The mortality rates for the cockpit crewmembers were compared to those for the general Japanese population using standardized mortality ratios (SMR's). As of December 31, 1988, 59 (2.5%) of 2,327 individuals were deceased, and the leading causes of death were accidents, malignant neoplasms, and cardiovascular diseases. The overall mortality rate for the cockpit crew was significantly lower than the national standard (SMR = 0.66, p < 0.001; 95% C.I. 0.50-0.85). However, marked differences were found in cause-specific mortality, where mortality due to accidents was significantly increased (SMR = 2.43, p < 0.001; 95% C.I. 1.63-3.50), while deaths from cancer were similar, and those for cerebral vascular accidents (CVA) and coronary artery disease (CAD) were lower than comparable rates for the general population. We conclude that cockpit crewmembers had a better total mortality experience compared to the general Japanese population, except for deaths due to accidents.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Aviation*
  • Cause of Death
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mortality*