Document Detail

Aircraft cabin air recirculation and symptoms of the common cold.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12132979     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
CONTEXT: In recent years, new commercial aircraft have been designed to recirculate approximately 50% of the cabin air to increase fuel efficiency. Some older aircraft use only fresh air. Whether air recirculation increases the transmission of infectious disease is unknown; some studies have demonstrated higher rates of the common cold among persons working in buildings that recirculate air.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the role of air recirculation as a predictor of postflight upper respiratory tract infections (URIs).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A natural experiment conducted among 1100 passengers departing the San Francisco Bay area in California and traveling to Denver, Colo, during January through early April 1999, and who completed a questionnaire in the boarding area and a follow-up telephone interview 5 to 7 days later. Forty-seven percent traveled aboard airplanes using 100% fresh air for ventilation, and 53% traveled aboard aircraft that recirculated cabin air.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Incidence of reporting new URI symptoms within 1 week of the flight.
RESULTS: Passengers on airplanes that did and did not recirculate air had similar rates of postflight respiratory symptoms. The rates of reporting a cold were 19% vs 21% (P =.34); a runny nose and a cold, 10% vs 11%, (P =.70); and an aggregation of 8 URI symptoms, 3% in both groups (P>.99). Results were similar after statistical adjustment for potential confounders.
CONCLUSION: We found no evidence that aircraft cabin air recirculation increases the risk for URI symptoms in passengers traveling aboard commercial jets.
Jessica Nutik Zitter; Peter D Mazonson; Dave P Miller; Stephen B Hulley; John R Balmes
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  JAMA     Volume:  288     ISSN:  0098-7484     ISO Abbreviation:  JAMA     Publication Date:    2002 Jul 24-31
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-22     Completed Date:  2002-07-30     Revised Date:  2014-09-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501160     Medline TA:  JAMA     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  483-6     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Common Cold / epidemiology*
Logistic Models
Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
Risk Factors
Grant Support
Comment In:
JAMA. 2002 Dec 18;288(23):2972; author reply 2972-3   [PMID:  12479753 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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