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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1981 Jan;52(1):24-7.

Postmortem coronary atherosclerosis findings in general aviation accident pilot fatalities: 1975-77.


The autopsies of 764 pilots involved in fatal general aviation accidents during the years 1975-77 were reviewed to appraise the age specific prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis among the autopsied group. Of the pilots killed in aircraft accidents and autopsied during 1975-77, 51% were found to have some degree of coronary atherosclerosis ranging from minimal to severe. However, only about 5% of the autopsied group were categorized as having severe coronary atherosclerosis. The rate per 1,000 of severe coronary atherosclerosis increased with age from 14.5 for ages less than 30, to 89.9 for ages 50 years and above; the rate nearly tripled from ages 30-39 to 40-49 (22.1 to 63.6). The prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis among this group of autopsied airmen is less than would have been expected based on the results of other recent studies.

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