Eradication ofHelicobacter pyloriInfection Aids with the Outcome of Motion Sickness Adaptation

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Introduction:Airsickness affects many aviators, especially at the beginning of their flight training. From the symptoms of airsickness, stomach awareness and nausea are among the most common and unpleasant. Helicobacter pylori infection of the gastric mucosa is a common cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in the general population, although it has seldom been associated with motion sickness in the scientific literature.Methods:A retrospective review was conducted in all cases of pilot trainees taking basic flight training who were referred to the Hellenic Air Force Aeromedical Center due to airsickness and tested for H. pylori, for the time period 1996–2005. We compared the H.-pylori-positive pilots with the uninfected ones according to their responses to the habituation sorties and subsequent completion of the basic flight training as a whole. A statistical analysis was performed using Fisher’s exact test.Results:The findings of the study suggest that diagnosing H. pylori infection and treating it with eradication therapy increases the possibility of a pilot trainee successfully completing the habituation flights, while it does not affect success in the basic flight training as a whole.Conclusions:Eradication therapy for H. pylori may provide a temporary reduction in reported nausea during flight training. The findings are not conclusive, but highly suggestive of a pathophysiologic link between H. pylori and motion sickness, needing further clarification through targeted studies.

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