Studies confirm risks of ‘economy class syndrome’

Continuing the trend of ‘known knowns’ in medical reporting comes the following: – Studies confirm risks of ‘economy class syndrome’ – Dec. 8, 2003.

Yes, the risk of DVT does increase with more than 8 hours of air travel, but most prominently in those with known risk factors for DVT.

In that study, 16 cases were detected among international passengers arriving at Spain’s Madrid-Barajas Airport from 1995 to 2000. All of them involved flights longer than six hours.

So, let’s not panic. They found 16 cases in 5 years. I’d bet more people had babies on planes in that time (though that’s a different risk factor).

Me, I drink water and I take an aspirin before I fly. Your mileage may vary.


  1. G.D.?s got a good point, especially the theory of ?Known Knowns? (I gotta borrow that)

    DVT and all the other woes of air travel are always of some interest to me because I travel economy, a lot. This past year was one of my slowest years with just a little more than 50K miles but some years I?m tapping at the 100K + mark, most of it international.

    If you travel a lot here?s a good resource for selecting the best seats.

    If you travel internationally, get up, walk around, and drink?. water (sometimes a hard rule to follow after that nasty kid in 45B keeps kicking the seat!!)

    Having said that I?m always amazed that people spend so much time writing and reading about health threats that have the same statistical chance of happening as that of being hit by lightening at the same time you?re being consumed by a Great White while water skiing on Lake Mead.

    Funnily enough, the real threats, heart disease, cancers various, strokes, diseases and accidents receive (yawn) little real play.

    And as Doc pointed out malaria is a serious threat to a large part of the world (one I travel in frequently, unfortunately) and deserves some serious attention. Another one you seldom hear about, Human African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is 100% fatal if untreated and kills around 100K people in Africa each year, all the more frustrating since it was almost totally eradicated in the ?60s.

  2. Thanks jim, great points! Heck, your comments are better than my posts. You should get a blog!