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The So-called Economy-class Syndrome : Concepts and Problems

By  一平 津久井


It is widely known that deep venous thrombosis in the leg often causes acute pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) in postoperative patients, etc. It was first reported in 1940 that long-time sitting caused PTE. Subsequent cases were reported in various transportation means and theaters. Since the latter half of the 1970s, the causal relationship with air travel has attracted attention as a typical example of long-time sitting and the term economy-class syndrome has appeared in the literature. However, many recent epidemiological studies have shown that there is no difference in incidence among transportation means. From the standpoint of prevention of thrombosis in all kinds of travel, the term traveler's thrombosis is advocated. In view of these circumstances, our Aeromedical Research Center sent a questionnaire to hospitals around international airports in Japan to investigate the development of this disease when traveling by airplane. There were 44 cases during the 8 years from 1993 to 2000; 4 of these resulted in death. There were disproportionately more women and the mean age was 61 years. The boarding time was 11.6 hours. Thirty-one cases were associated with economy class and 6 cases with business class. The frequency of leaving the seat was 0.5. Thirty-one cases had risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, thrombotic history, or oral ingestion of pills. Considering the sociomedical background factors such as increase in the number of users with the recent advances in transportation, widened age range of passengers, changes in disease profile with the Westernized lifestyle of Japanese, we should further clarify the pathology of traveler's thrombosis and take more appropriate prophylactic measures

Publisher: 東京女子医科大学学会
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:ir.twmu.ac.jp:10470/26104
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