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Content loaded within last 14 days A 5-Year Analysis of Aviation Medical Examinations in South Korea

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INTRODUCTION: Little has been studied to promote aviation health in South Korea. The aim of this study was to analyze the results of aviation medical examinations conducted in South Korea over the past 5 yr and, in doing so, provide evidence for establishing a health promotion, disease prevention plan.

METHODS: Subjects of the study consisted of applicants who underwent aviation medical examinations from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2020.

RESULTS: Over the past 5 yr, the total number of aviation medical examinations in South Korea has shown an annual increase of more than 10%. In the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the number of aviation medical examinations, both renewal and initial, for all types of licenses, except renewal aviation medical examinations for the ATCL, decreased. Disqualification rates were generally higher in initial examinations than in renewal examinations. The examination results for license renewal showed the ATPL disqualification rate to be the highest at 3.5 per 1000 pilots per year in their 50s, with cardiology cases being the most common reason for disqualification, followed by ophthalmology cases and psychiatry cases. Diagnostic categories for those disqualified after initial aviation medical examinations were similar, though ophthalmological causes were most common, followed by cases of psychiatry and neurology.

CONCLUSION: Main causes of disqualification in airmen and air traffic controllers were identified as the presence of cardiovascular, ophthalmic, and psychiatric diseases. The results of this study provide evidence for improving health promotion activity plans to manage risk factors of such diseases for aviation workers.

Kim JS, Han BS, Kwon YH, Lim J. A 5-yr analysis of aviation medical examinations in South Korea. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2022; 93(6):499–506.

Keywords: aerospace medicine; air traffic controllers; medical certificate; medical examination; pilots

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2022

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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