Volume 102, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among international travelers. It is unknown whether CVD is a barrier to international travel. The purpose of this study was to describe the travel experiences of a cohort of individuals with CVD, to identify their perceived barriers to travel, and to generate recommendations for CVD travelers, medical practitioners, and the travel industry. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with CVD patients who had attended either a regional, structured, multidisciplinary CVD prevention program or a cardiac rehabilitation program. Coding and thematic analysis of the transcripts were supported by NVivo computer software. Peer debriefing with an independent researcher was undertaken. Demographic and clinical data such as gender, age, and types of cardiovascular condition were also recorded. Twelve patients (eight males), with a mean age of 68 ± 7.58 years, agreed to semi-structured interviews (26–78 minutes duration). The key themes emerging from the interviews included altered travel perception, accessing medical care overseas, issues with medications, medical device concerns at airports, restricted leisure travel activities, and optimal self-care. All interviewees perceived a health benefit to travel and did not regard CVD as a significant barrier to international travel. Certain cardiovascular conditions precipitated more travel anxiety. These findings highlight the unique experiences of CVD patients when engaging in international travel. Cardiovascular disease optimization and responsible travel health behaviors would facilitate medically uneventful overseas travel. The results may inform pretravel health advice given to CVD travelers. Further studies on issues relating to air travel in CVD are warranted.


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  • Received : 24 Oct 2019
  • Accepted : 06 Dec 2019
  • Published online : 13 Jan 2020
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