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Effects of Aircraft Cabin Altitude on Passenger Comfort and Discomfort

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
The Boeing Company Identifier:
First received: May 15, 2006
Last updated: October 16, 2006
Last verified: May 2006

Commercial aircraft passengers are exposed to atmospheric pressures ranging from the pressure found at ground level to that encountered in the external environment at 8,000 feet. There is some evidence in the medical literature that symptoms of acute mountain sickness can result from ascent to altitudes of 6,300 to 10,000 feet by unacclimated persons during the first few days following ascent, probably due to the hypoxia that results from breathing air at the reduced ambient pressures at altitude. The logical hypothesis that follows is that exposure to 8,000 feet could cause hypoxia sufficient to adversely affect the comfort and well being of some commercial aircraft passengers on prolonged flights. There is insufficient data in the literature to validate this hypothesis.

Exercise at sea level and at altitude reduces arterial oxygen levels. The logical hypothesis that follows is that the combination of moderate exercise and exposure to altitude could cause hypoxia sufficiently severe to adversely affect the comfort and well being of some people and that the combined effect of exercise and altitude on comfort and well being is greater than the effect of exercise or altitude alone. Again, there is insufficient evidence in the literature to substantiate this possibility.

The purpose of this investigation is to test these hypotheses.

Condition Intervention
Acute Mountain Sickness Procedure: Hypobaric hypoxia

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single
Official Title: Investigation to Determine the Effects of Aircraft Cabin Altitudes on Passenger Comfort and Discomfort

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by The Boeing Company:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • ESQ IV factor scores measured at 2 hour intervals
  • Oxygen Saturation measured at 2 hour intervals

Estimated Enrollment: 500
Study Start Date: October 2002
Estimated Study Completion Date: April 2003
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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria: age 21 - 75

Exclusion Criteria:Height greater than 6'2", BMI greater than 45. Specified acute or chronic medical conditions -

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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00326703

Sponsors and Collaborators
The Boeing Company
Principal Investigator: James M Muhm, MD, MPH The Boeing Company
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00326703     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Boeing001
Study First Received: May 15, 2006
Last Updated: October 16, 2006

Keywords provided by The Boeing Company:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Altitude Sickness
Respiration Disorders
Respiratory Tract Diseases processed this record on September 21, 2017