Pilots at risk for cosmic cataracts

Aug 08, 2005

Researchers say they've determined airline pilots are at increased risk of cataracts usually associated with aging as a result of cosmic radiation.

Commercial airline pilots previously were reported to be at increased risk for some cancers, but studies on the biological effects of cosmic radiation exposure were limited, according to the researchers.

Dr. Vilhjalmur Rafnsson of the University of Iceland and his colleagues conducted a case control study involving 445 men to determine whether employment as a pilot is associated with lens opacification.

All participants in the study were 50 years or older and other factors that contribute to cataract risk, including smoking, age and sunbathing, were controlled for in the statistical analysis.

Exposure to cosmic radiation was assessed based on employment time as pilots, annual number of hours flown on each aircraft type, time tables, flight profiles and individual cumulative radiation doses calculated by computer.

"The odds ratio for nuclear cataract risk among cases and controls was 3.02 for pilots compared with non-pilots, adjusted for age, smoking status, and sunbathing habits," the researchers reported.

The study appears in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Mapping the world's linguistic diversity—scientists discover links between your genes and the language you speak

Related Stories

How to train your astronauts

Apr 06, 2015

Training an astronaut is no easy task. Astronauts go through years of rigorous technical, health and safety training to learn simple and complex tasks for a typical four to six month mission. They develop ...

Peat fire emissions may shed light on climate change

Jan 16, 2015

Wildfires, which send hot flames and smoke high into the air, create black carbon emissions associated with climate change and risk to human health. Carbon emissions from wildfires in the contiguous U.S. ...

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

Jul 03, 2015

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain

Jul 03, 2015

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.