Epidemiologic View of Allergic Diseases in North America: Implications for Aerospace Medicine,
GEORGETOWN UNIV WASHINGTON DC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
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The allergic disorders comprise a heterogeneous group of diseases which involve the respiratory tract e.g. allergic rhinitis and asthma, the skin e.g. atopic eczema, and the gastrointestinal tract e.g. allergic gastroenteritis, food allergy and which afflict 50 million Americans. The respiratory allergic diseases affect major segments of the population 15-1700 who may be recruited as aircraft personnel and therefore these diseases pose particular risk to flying safety of personnel either directly, or indirectly as a consequence of their disease or of the adverse effects of medications now used in the treatment of these disorders. Moreover, recent evidence is now accumulating to suggest that other environmental factors encountered in aerospace operations, e.g. gravity, oxygen and stress, may also contribute to the immunologic responses involved in and responsible for clinical manifestations of these allergic disorders.
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