Document Type : Brief Report
School of Medicine, University of Galway, Galway, Ireland
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among international travellers. Online travel health information is largely focused on infectious disease despite the higher burden of CVD in this patient population. There have not been any studies assessing the availability of key travel health information online for patients with CVD.
Methods: Websites of national societies of cardiology (NSC) affiliated with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) were included in the study. A list of NSCs affiliated with ESC was obtained from the ESC website. All travel health information on the websites identified was analysed. Additional websites of medical societies not affiliated with ESC were assessed for comparison. Each NSC was individually contacted and asked to complete an anonymised questionnaire to identify any measures taken by each NSC towards travel health promotion among travellers with CVD.
Results: Two (4.5%) NSC websites contained relevant travel information. Topics addressed were venous thromboembolism (VTE) and pulmonary embolism (PE) prophylaxis, high altitude travel, implanted cardiac devices (ICD) and atrial fibrillation. The questionnaire arm of the study revealed that the majority of NSCs agree that travel health is an important aspect of CVD prevention and that there is a lack of online travel health information for this population.
Conclusion: Considering the significant risks travel can impose on patients with CVD, there is a disproportionate lack of information on this subject online.