Heart disease refers to several conditions that restrict the blood flow to the heart, damage blood vessels, or result in improper rhythm. Conditions include heart stroke, coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmia, peripheral artery disease (PAD), etc. According to the CDC, 805,000 people have a heart attack in the US every year, and 200,000 of those have a second attack. Also, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, causing approximately 1 out of 5 deaths.
That’s why those with heart conditions must take good care of themselves, especially while flying. Read on to learn more about air travel and heart disease in our latest blog.
Generally, it is safe for heart patients to fly, as air travel mostly does not cause serious complications. Nevertheless, they should be aware of the factors that aggravate their condition or increase their risk of other heart problems and take precautionary measures accordingly.
Airplane cabins are not pressurized to the sea level, which decreases blood oxygen levels (more in elders) with increased altitude. The decreased blood oxygen level (hypoxemia) won’t be obvious until cabin pressure decreases significantly. So, those who already have a heart condition (especially if unstable) have an increased risk of health complications.
Besides, physical inactivity during flight travel, especially during long travels, decreases blood flow to the legs, thus increasing the risk of blood clots in the vein (venous thromboembolism).
Also Read: Travel Tips for DVT
Factors that may increase your risk of heart complications while flying include:
Before you plan your air travel, ensure to:
Though heart problems while flying are uncommon, they do happen. This is why it is good to talk with your doctor beforehand if you have concerns. This will help you receive preventative care, reducing risks and ensuring peaceful air travel.
At North Atlanta Vascular Clinic, we provide stroke treatment in Suwanee, GA with personalized care and attention. Schedule an appointment today to improve your heart health.
Content Source: CDC
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