A study of health effects of long-distance ocean voyages on seamen using a data classification approach

Yunmei Lu, Yanhong Gao, Zhongbo Cao, Juan Cui, Zhennan Dong, Yaping Tian, Ying Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Long-distance ocean voyages may have substantial impacts on seamen's health, possibly causing malnutrition and other illness. Measures can possibly be taken to prevent such problems from happening through preparing special diet and making special precautions prior or during the sailing if a detailed understanding can be gained about what specific health effects such voyages may have on the seamen. Methods. We present a computational study on 200 seamen using 41 chemistry indicators measured on their blood samples collected before and after the sailing. Our computational study is done using a data classification approach with a support vector machine-based classifier in conjunction with feature selections using a recursive feature elimination procedure. Results. Our analysis results suggest that among the 41 blood chemistry measures, nine are most likely to be affected during the sailing, which provide important clues about the specific effects of ocean voyage on seamen's health. Conclusions. The identification of the nine blood chemistry measures provides important clues about the effects of long-distance voyage on seamen's health. These findings will prove to be useful to guide in improving the living and working environment, as well as food preparation on ships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics

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