• Journal Article

Aircraft type and diagnosed back disorders in U.S. Navy pilots and aircrew

Citation

Simon-Arndt, C. M., Yuan, H., & Hourani, L. (1997). Aircraft type and diagnosed back disorders in U.S. Navy pilots and aircrew. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 68(11), 1012-1018.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Back disorders have long been recognized as a serious problem within the military aviation community and a possible threat to mission accomplishment. The purpose of the present study was to determine the extent to which the type of aircraft flown is associated with diagnosed back problems, and to examine differences in the prevalence of back disorders between pilots and aircrew. METHODS: A case-control study was conducted in which U.S. Navy pilots and aircrew members with a diagnosed back disorder on their most recent physical exam between 1991 and 1993 were compared with pilots and aircrew without such diagnoses. Data were obtained from the automated physical examination records maintained by the Naval Operational Medicine Institute for all Naval aviation personnel. RESULTS: Results showed that aircrew members have a higher risk of diagnosed back problems than pilots for both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The study revealed that flight engineers have a higher risk of diagnosed back problems than other aircrew members. Among pilots, no association was found between type of aircraft and diagnosed back problems