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Angiology. 2001 Jun;52(6):369-74.

Venous thromboembolism from air travel: the LONFLIT study.


The LONFLIT study was planned to evaluate the incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) occurring as a consequence of long flights. In the Lonflit study 355 subjects at low-risk for DVT and 389 at high-risk were studied. Low-risk subjects had no cardiovascular disease and used no drugs. All flights were in economy class. The average flight duration was 12.4 hours (range, 10-15 hr). The mean age of the studied subjects was 46 years (range 20-80 yr, SD 11; 56% males). DVT diagnosis was made by ultrasound scans after the flights (within 24 hours). In low-risk subjects no events were recorded while in high-risk subjects 11 had DVT (2.8%) with 13 thromboses in 11 subjects and 6 superficial thromboses (total of 19 thrombotic events in 389 patients [4.9%]). In the Lonflit2 study the authors studied 833 subjects (randomized into 422 control subjects and 411 using below-knee stockings). Mean age was 44.8 years (range, 20-80 yr, SD 12; 57% males). The average flight duration was 12.4 hours. Scans were made before and after the flights. In the control group there were 4.5% of subjects with DVT while only 0.24% of subjects had DVT in the stockings group. The difference was significant. The incidence of DVT observed when subjects were wearing stockings was 18.75 times lower than in controls. Long-haul flights are associated to DVT in some 4-5% of high-risk subjects. Below-knee stockings are beneficial in reducing the incidence of DVT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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