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Age-related vision problems in commuter and air taxi pilots: a study of 3019 pilots, 1987-1997.

Authors
Rebok-GW; Qiang-Y; Baker-SP; Li-G
Source
Aviat Space Environ Med 2007 Jul; 78(7):706-711
NIOSHTIC No.
20037899
Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Vision problems have become an increasingly important health and safety concern for pilots due to the aging of the pilot population. This paper examines the incidence of age-related vision problems in a birth cohort of commuter air carrier and air taxi pilots. METHODS: A cohort of 3019 male pilots ages 45-54 yr at baseline and holding Class I medical certificates in 1987 were retrospectively studied from 1987 to 1997 through the medical certification system of the Federal Aviation Administration. Poisson regression modeling based on generalized estimation equations was used to assess the associations of pilot characteristics with risk of developing vision problems. RESULTS: The study period accumulated 419 incident cases of vision problems, yielding an incidence of 20.3 per 1000 person-years. For pilots ages 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60-64, the incidence of vision problems was 17, 20, 24, and 39 per 1000 person-years, respectively. A baseline history of eye problems and older age were each significantly associated with an increased incidence of vision problems. The adjusted relative risks of vision problems for pilot age were 1.0 (45-49 yr), 1.2 (50-54 yr), 1.4 (55-59 yr), and 3.0 (60-64 yr). The three most prevalent types of visual problems were corneal problems (16%), glaucoma (15%), and cataracts (7%). CONCLUSION: Identifying and preventing pathological changes that alter visual performance among pilots is an important component of aviation safety. With the increasing maturity of the pilot population, it is essential that appropriate visual screening and correction be emphasized for specific age-related ophthalmic conditions.
Keywords
Vision-disorders; Pilots; Aerospace-medicine; Age-factors; Humans; Men; Epidemiology; Eyes; Eyesight; Risk-factors; Occupational-health; Age-groups; Author Keywords: Aging; Aviation; Vision problems; Eye disease; Safety
Contact
Dr. George W. Rebok, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205-1901
CODEN
ASEMCG
Publication Date
20070701
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
grebok@jhsph.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2007
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008428
Issue of Publication
7
ISSN
0095-6562
Source Name
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
State
MD; VA
Performing Organization
Johns Hopkins University
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