Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 11 Apr 2018 Cabin crew suffer du ...

Cabin crew suffer due to sleep disorders

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KANIZA GARARI
Published Apr 11, 2018, 1:36 am IST
Updated Apr 11, 2018, 1:36 am IST
A direct link between cancers and flying time has not been established, but the increasing incidence of cancers among those engaged in the profession may point to it.
 A direct link between cancers and flying time has not been established, but the increasing incidence of cancers among those engaged in the profession may point to it.

Hyderabad: High levels of stress, gruelling work schedules, shift-work-sleep disorders and also working in low oxygen zones are some of the major reasons that flight attendants are found to suffer from respiratory disorders, infectious diseases and also cancers.  A recent study published in BMC Public Health states that there is increasing evidence of malignant melanoma, breast cancer and reproductive cancers in flight attendants along with psychological disorders and alcoholism.

A direct link between cancers and flying time has not been established, but the increasing incidence of cancers among those engaged in the profession may point to it.  Says Dr Dilip Gude, senior critical care specialist, “The increase in both physical and mental illness is being attributed to the exponential increase in cosmic radiation exposure and the thinning of atmosphere at such heights. Also, hormones like cortisol and several other stress hormones are found to surge from long and odd work-hours resulting in a cycle of stress for the body. Severe dehydration has also been noted in this category of people as they are in a closed cabin for long hours.”

It has been found that stress hormones see an increase during long flights due to low pressure and gruelling schedules which affects the immune system and increases the risk and also incidence of infections. The air circulation mechanisms on board may also cause respiratory disorders and flu. The airline is one of the major reasons for the transfer of bacteria, virus and also mosquitoes from one zone to other. Dr B.K. Raju, senior critical care specialist, believes that clothes also play role in the poor health of flight attendants. 

“There is decreased lung capacity due to the constant wearing of tight-fitting clothes. The industry norms mandate that flight attendants have a perfect and ideal body outwardly. Hence, most of them suffer from deficiencies and have to be put on supplements.” A medical check-up is done annually, and weight has to be maintained as required, which can be stressful. The job also calls for odd hours for meals and high intake of canned, processed and junk food which affects digestion.  The psychological pressure caused from being away from family for many days can also take a toll. 

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Location: India, Telangana




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