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|63233. Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:44 am
What causes deep-vein thrombosis?
SITTING ON AEROPLANES
SITTING ON PLANES
SITTING DOWN FOR TOO LONG
Poor air quality in the cabin.
Around 100,000 people develop deep-vein thrombosis* (DVT) every year and it is estimated that as many as 10% of them get it as a result of air travel.
Passengers who have been on an plane for over 8 hours have more chance of developing potentially fatal blood clots than those who have sat on a chair on the ground for the same amount of time. Recent studies** have shown that air travel can quadruple the risk of blood clots.
It used to be thought that DVT contracted on aircraft was caused by sitting still in cramped conditions for long periods. Airlines started issuing cards to passengers advising them to take exercise during the flight to minimise the risk.
But DVT, sometimes called ‘economy class syndrome’, is not caused by sitting still on aeroplanes, but by poor air quality in the cabin, notably its low pressure and low oxygen content.
DVT kills 500 to 1000 people each year and was first linked to air travel in 1954, so it’s astonishing that we’ve only heard of it relatively recently.
PICTURE OF BLUE SKY WITH FLUFFY CLOUDS AND A TINY AEROPLANE MAKING A CON-TRAIL
*The word thrombosis is from the Greek thrombos, a ‘lump’ or ‘piece’, hence a ‘clot’ or ‘gout’ of blood.
**The research in question, on 71 volunteers before, during and after flights, was commissioned by the World Health Organisation and carried out by researchers from the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam.
<<Links out of Drip-dry
s: TDT 10.3.06 (from The Lancet)
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