Assessment of the occurrence of menstrual disorders in female flight attendants - preliminary report and literature review.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the presented study was to determine the incidence of menstrual disorders and to evaluate the influence of the work period and the frequency of flying on the occurrence of these disorders in flight attendants flying within one time zone.

METHODS: The questionnaire-based survey covered 43 flight attendants which remained within one time zone. The statistical analysis was made by Statistica 10.0 (StatSoft Inc., USA).

RESULTS: The study population of flight attendants revealed the occurrence of irregular menstrual cycles in 21%. Irregular menstruations were found to occur more frequently in women with length of work period exceeding 5 years and in women covering more than 14 routes a week though the differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Statistically significant correlation was found between years of work and incidence of thyroid diseases and cervical erosions. Only flight attendants working longer than 5 were found to be treated for thyroid diseases. Also in these women cervical erosions developed more frequently than in women with a shorter period of work (55.00% and 21.74%, respectively). Sleep disturbances in the form of insomnia were reported in 19 cases (44%). The study revealed that women with sleep disturbances complain on dysmenorrhea significantly more frequently (p=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: The specificity of the work of flight attendants contributes to a higher incidence of menstrual disorders, sleep disturbances and cervical erosions. These disorders seem to be largely related to the shift work.

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