Thursday, June 10, 2010

Air Travel Could Raise Risk for Heartbeat Irregularities

(HealthDay News) -- Air travel could raise the risk for experiencing heartbeat irregularities among older individuals with a history of heart disease, a new study suggests.

The finding stems from an assessment of a small group of people -- some of whom had a history of heart disease -- who were observed in an environment that simulated flight conditions.

"People never think about the fact that getting on an airplane is basically like going from sea level to climbing a mountain of 8,000 feet," said study author Eileen McNeely, an instructor in the department of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "But that can be very stressful on the heart. Particularly for those who are older and have underlying cardiac disease."

McNeely and her team are slated to present their findings Thursday at the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference in San Francisco. Read more...

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