FLYING BC - January 2002
There is good evidence that diabetics are more prone to developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, especially multi-infarct dementia (caused by repeated small strokes often occurring without the diabetic aware). Serious memory and concentration problems can be present even in diabetics less than 50-years-old and are often missed due to inadequate cognitive screening methods for mental deficits.
DIABETES IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF KIDNEY FAILURE
Diabetics have impaired immune system function, rendering them much more susceptible to infections and the complications of infections such as influenza, pneumonia and skin infections. In addition, there is evidence that diabetics are also much more prone to developing solid and hollow organ malignancies (cancer) such as uterine cancer, colon and rectal cancers.
Pregnant diabetics experience many more complications and their infants have a much higher risk for congenital birth defects, poorly developed lungs, excessive size causing birthing trauma, and a very serious complication known as pre-eclampsia or very high blood pressure in the mother.
Dr. Randy Knipping is an aviation medical examiner for Transport Canada and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. He is the chair of COPA's Medical Advisory Board, and has a special interest in the prevention of health problems in aviation and the rehabilitation of grounded pilots. His private practice is limited to aviation medicine, and he also practices emergency medicine at the Trillium Health Centre, one of the largest and busiest metropolitan emergency rooms in Canada. He welcomes questions from the COPA membership regarding any current medical or health issue as it relates to the aviation environment. Dr. Knipping may be reached by E-mail at
Next month in "The Diabetic Pilot - Part II," Dr. Knipping covers: testing for diabetes, preventing the disease, medications, and Transport Canada guidelines.
Nav Canada, the private firm that handles our air traffic control, electronic aids to navigation, and weather briefing needs, has announced it has revenue shortfalls of $145 million because of significant declines in actual and projected traffic. Company officials have eliminated a temporary discount on air navigation service charges as a result of the revenue problem. Additional measures to address the problem include $85 million in cost reductions and a drawdown of the remaining $30 million from the company's rate stabilization fund. Nav Canada will offer customers the option of a payment deferral plan, on a temporary basis, to help carriers manage their cash flow during the current industry turndown.
NAV CANADA HAS REVENUE SHORTFALL
(reprinted with the permission of Dr. R. Knipping)
The Diabetic Pilot: Prevention and Management - Part 1