Inflammatory bowel disease in military aviators: 14 cases with return to flying duty

Amit Assa, Ori Wand, Alon Grossman, Erez Barenboim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, is not a rare entity among military aviators. This relapsing inflammatory condition which may also affect extra intestinal organs can cause recurrent symptoms with considerable morbidity. The unpredictable nature of the disease, side effects of medications, and potential surgical procedures are obvious aeromedical concerns let alone the disease's extra-intestinal manifestations, some of which may result in sudden incapacitation. We present 14 military aviators who were diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and returned to flight duty after stabilization of symptoms. Mean follow-up period was 102 months (total of 1,429 months) without any adverse effects on flight safety. Only 4 aviators were grounded for a cumulative duration of 35 months during that period. We believe that because adequate disease control is readily feasible in most cases, safe return to flight duty within a short period is reasonable in uncomplicated cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-235
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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