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September 2, 1988

Cardiovascular Hazards of Air Travel

Author Affiliations

Washington (DC) Hospital Center

Washington (DC) Hospital Center

JAMA. 1988;260(9):1242. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410090070027

To the Editor.—  In the April 1 issue of JAMA, Cummins et al1 address the risk of sudden death during commercial air travel. Yet, the risk of sudden death is slight compared with the in-flight dangers we place on our coronary anatomy. On a recent cross-country flight, I had the displeasure of being seated in the malodorous smoking section. Not only was my circulatory system subjected to five hours of nicotine-containing vasospastic fumes, but in addition my lipoprotein-carrying system was tempted by an "oilaceous" feast of delectable niblets.Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, juicy pork sausages, a muffin with butter, and coffee with an artificial creamer containing coconut and palm oil. Not to be outdined, the luncheon chef designed a plaque-forming meal of a ham and cheese sandwich, 196 g (7 oz) of creamy cheddar cheese, and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. The only safe food was two breadsticks and Dijon