Cardiovascular risk factors in commercial flight aircrew officers compared with those in the general population

Angiology. 1996 Nov;47(11):1089-94. doi: 10.1177/000331979604701109.


Cardiovascular disease is the most common reason for loss of license among commercial flight pilots. This study was done to explore cardiovascular risk factors among aircrew officers. The study group consisted of 113 male commercial flight aircrew officers (aviators), aged thirty-five to forty-four years (mean: 38.8 years) who participated in the compulsory health screening. Men investigated at the Health Screening Centre, Malmö, were used as the reference group. Group 1, for ECG, (n 771), aged thirty-eight to forty-four years (mean: 42.1). Group 2, for height, weight, body mass index (BMI) (weight kg/height m2), blood pressure, serum cholesterol (total), and smoking habits (n 5005), aged thirty-five to forty-four years (mean: 39.2). The aviators did not differ from the reference population in regard to height, weight, BMI, diastolic blood pressure, or smoking habits. However, the incidences of electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy, increased systolic blood pressure, and the level of cholesterol were significantly higher in the aviators when compared with the controls. Aircrew members may primarily be selected by criteria that differ from the male population in general. Excessive environmental stress, ie, shift work, jet lag, fatigue, as well as dietary factors, may also contribute to anomalies in the group. The clinical consequences of these anomalies for the aviators should be further evaluated, for they are important both for the aviators and for flying safety.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol