Title: Losing Altitude: A story of airplanes, heart rate, and one “controversial” dataset
Abstract: When you ride in an airplane, the lowered pressure in the cabin causes your blood oxygen levels to decrease. If oxygen saturation levels go low enough, you may experience some interesting side effects (like temporary color blindness, for example), that much we know. What we don’t know is if there is also an impact on the functioning of the heart. Partially motivated by a rash of flight related medical case studies, a study was conducted in 2007 to more formally assess the effects of exposure to altitude on heart health while in flight. We will explore this study, the complex dataset it generated, and the “controversy” of conducting research a certain airline manufacturer would rather we not.