In the last few months, there have been a series of articles on the possible dangers of long distance air travel, especially for those in coach class. The health danger is in the formation of clots due to cramped seating and inactivity. These clots can form in the leg and then get dislodged and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

A study recently carried out in England made the statement that at least one long-haul passenger dies every month from a blood clot within minutes of landing at Heathrow Airport in London. However, according to one article in an English national newspaper, that figure could be only the tip of the iceberg. Drs who carried out the study believe that more than 2,000 people die from Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) each year in Britain.

A doctor who is spokesperson for the British Travel Health Association said travelers most at risk are over 40, had a previous history of embolism, were unusually tall or short, suffered from cancer or heart failure, were pregnant, had recently undergone surgery or were obese. Those who also undertake regular long distance travel would naturally be more at risk.

However, until very recently there have been no records kept of the incidence of DVT and its possible relation to air travel. Another English newspaper The Sunday Observer stated that they have been speaking about this for years and that British Airways have done nothing to see if there was truth to their points.

Although there have been articles in American newspapers about this issue it has been much more widely covered in English newspapers in the last few months.

There has been a growing controversy over the cramped quarters of economy travel for quite some time but with the possible link to DVT, it may lead to a change in the seating arrangements in air travel.

However, it is recommended that on taking long distance air travel, people should move from their seats every hour and regularly flex their legs. Doctors also can recommend people to take an aspirin before a flight and wear tight stockings.

If you have concerns about this and know that you will undertake long distance air travel it may be appropriate to visit your doctor and ask his/her advice.