A COMPARISON OF POSTMORTEM CORONARY ATHEROSCLEROSIS FINDINGS IN GENERAL AVIATION PILOT FATALITIES

Recognition of medical risk factors is of paramount importance to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with regard to the agency's primary mission of ensuring air safety. The autopsy reports of 710 pilots involved in fatal general aviation accidents and received by the FAA for the years 1980-82 were reviewed to appraise the age-specific prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis among the autopsied groups and compare findings with those of an earlier study of a similar pilot group. All data were received by the FAA in connection with its responsibilities for medical investigation of accidents. Sixty-nine percent of the autopsies on pilots killed in aircraft accidents indicated some degree of coronary atherosclerosis ranging from minimal to severe. This finding is higher than for a similar group of pilots studied during the years 1975-77. However, only about 2.5 percent of the 1980-82 study group were found to have severe coronary atherosclerosis, compared with 5 percent in the previous study. Prevalence of severe coronary atherosclerosis increased with age from 5.8 per 1,000 for ages less than 40 years to 73.9 for ages 50 years and above, also reflecting lower age-specific rates for severe coronary atherosclerosis than were found in the previous study. Recent emphasis on autopsy format and attention to sudden incapacitation is felt to have resulted in more accurate reporting for recent years. Prevalence of severe coronary atherosclerosis among the recently studied pilot group was less than that observed in an earlier study of a similar group.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00960837
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FAA/AM-85/6
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2003 12:00AM