Health Report: Flight Attendants Have Higher Rates of Many Cancers, Study Says
Time Health Article
By Alice Park, June 26, 2018
Flight attendants are exposed to a number of known cancer-causing risks, but few studies have rigorously quantified that risk, and researchers say they are an understudied occupational group.
The Harvard Flight Attendant Health Study (FAHS), begun in 2007, addresses some of the gaps in understanding health risks among flight attendants. In the latest report, published in the journal Environmental Health, researchers found that flight attendants had higher rates of many cancers, including breast cancer and melanoma, compared to the general population.
The FAHS included more than 5,300 flight attendants who were recruited through online and mailed surveys, and given in person at airports. The flight attendants answered questions about their flight schedules, as well as any diagnoses of cancer. The researchers, led by Irina Mordukhovich, a research associate at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, then compared the responses to those from a matched group of people not in the airline profession from an ongoing national health survey.