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During World War II, the Canadian Air Force took electrocardiograms on about 5,000 pilots. The United States Navy conducted a similar but smaller study at the same time. This symposium on cardiology in aviation presents the initial results of the United States Air Force program to obtain electrocardiograms on all of its fliers. The study began in 1957 and now includes an analysis of the electrocardiograms of 67,375 asymptomatic individuals. Other sections review various cardiovascular techniques such as phonocardiography, vectorcardiography, and the telemetering of physiologic responses during experimental flights.
Over 600 flying personnel are killed in military aircraft accidents annually in the United States. As postmortem examinations are mandatory, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has the unique opportunity of performing pathologic examinations on these young men. Special attention has been given to the incidence of coronary artery atherosclerosis in both flying and nonflying personnel. A significant percentage of each
Wilson WR. The First International Symposium on Cardiology in Aviation, Nov. 12-13, 1959. Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):792-793. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050158027