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Revista de Salud Pública

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ARTEAGA-ARREDONDO, Luis F  and  FAJARDO-RODRIGUEZ, Hugo A. Cardiovascular risk factor prevalence in civil aviation pilots in Colombia during 2005. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.2, pp.250-256. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective The human-flying machine interface relies heavily on flight safety. Coronary disease is the most commonly occurring sudden incapacitation during flight and involves factors described as leading to cardiovascular risk. Pilots probably have risk prevalence different to the rest of the population. Method This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Medical histories from January to December 2005 for pilots certified by the Colombian Civil Aeronautic society were reviewed; these were randomly selected until 614 histories were obtained. A 95 % confidence level and 0.5 % accuracy level were used. Data was obtained regarding age, blood pressure, tobacco use, cholesterol, glycaemia, physical fitness, past history, gender, height, flying time and type of licence. STATG 6 software was used for analysing the data and the results were expressed as descriptive statistics. Results Percentage risk factor prevalence in pilots was as follows: 7.8 % suffered hypertension, 1.3 % diabetes, 36 % hypercholesterolemia, 36 % hypertrigliceridaemia, 36 % had low HDL, 32 % high LDL, 12.8 % tobacco use, 7 % were obese and 6 % suffered from metabolic syndrome. There were differences between pilots holding first and second class licences, more prevalent risks occurring amongst second class pilots. Conclusion The prevalence of risk factors differs between pilots and the general population. According to the Framingham scale, 8 % of the pilots were in the high risk group so they require specific programmes and strict follow-up for modifying the risk profile and improving flight safety.

Keywords : Cardiovascular risk factor; hypertension; coronary disease.

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