Effects of Aircraft Cabin Altitude on Passenger Comfort and Discomfort
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.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
|Official Title:||Investigation to Determine the Effects of Aircraft Cabin Altitudes on Passenger Comfort and Discomfort|
- ESQ IV factor scores measured at 2 hour intervals
- Oxygen Saturation measured at 2 hour intervals
|Study Start Date:||October 2002|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||April 2003|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00326703
|Principal Investigator:||James M Muhm, MD, MPH||The Boeing Company|