• Thursday, June 13, 2024

HEALTH

Drinking alcohol before flight naps could be bad for heart: Study

The researchers suggested that regulating alcohol consumption on flights could be beneficial in mitigating these health risks.

Representational image from iStock

By: Vivek Mishra

A recent study has raised concerns about the common practice of drinking alcohol and then taking a nap during flights.

German researchers have discovered that this combination, coupled with the low cabin pressure experienced during air travel, could strain the hearts of passengers.

According to Sky News, the study highlighted that after consuming alcohol, people’s blood oxygen levels decrease and heart rates increase, particularly at high altitudes where cabin pressure is lower.

“We were surprised by how significant the effect was,” shared Dr Eva-Maria Elmenhorst, one of the study’s authors, in an interview with NBC News. “We advise against drinking alcohol while on an airplane.”

The study, published in Thorax, emphasised that individuals with existing heart conditions may face heightened risks due to decreased cabin pressure during sleep, which is further compounded by alcohol consumption.

The researchers suggested that regulating alcohol consumption on flights could be beneficial in mitigating these health risks.

In their experiments, researchers evaluated 48 individuals aged 18 to 40 across different settings, including a sleep laboratory and an altitude chamber, with some participants consuming alcohol before sleep sessions.

While the study noted that healthy, young individuals may not experience severe consequences, it highlighted the potential for exacerbating pre-existing medical conditions due to decreased oxygen levels and increased heart rates.

Overall, the study warned that combining alcohol consumption with sleeping in low-pressure environments could strain the cardiovascular system and worsen symptoms in individuals with cardiac or pulmonary diseases.

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