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Prevalence of acute mountain sickness at 3500 m within and between families: A prospective cohort study


Kriemler, Susi; Bürgi, Flavia; Wick, Christian; Wick, Birgit; Keller, Melanie; Wiget, Urs; Schindler, Christian; Kaufmann, Beat A; Kohler, Malcolm; Bloch, Konrad; Brunner-La Rocca, Hans-Peter (2014). Prevalence of acute mountain sickness at 3500 m within and between families: A prospective cohort study. High Altitude Medicine & Biology, 15(1):28-38.

Abstract

AIM: To investigate symptoms, prevalence and associated factors of acute mountain sickness (AMS) in families upon a fast ascent to 3450 m. Methods: 87 children, 70 adolescents, and 155 parents (n=312) were assessed for AMS 8-10 and 20-24 hours after fast passive ascent by the Lake Louise Score (LLS). Pain sensitivity and oxygen saturation (SO2) were measured and familial clustering was assessed.
RESULTS: AMS prevalence was significantly lower in children (21%) compared to adolescents (34%) and adults (39%) on day 1 (p<0.05), but not on day 2 (18% vs. 19% and 25%). Cumulative prevalence of AMS was 30, 37, and 45% in children, adolescents, and adults, respectively (p<0.001). Familial clustering of AMS was consistent and explained 25%-50% of variability in AMS. Pain sensitivity significantly increased from low to high altitude and was higher at low altitude in those with compared to those without AMS. SO2 at high altitude was not related to the presence of AMS.
CONCLUSIONS: After fast ascent to 3500 m, AMS prevalence was lower in children than in adolescents and adults on day 1, but not on day 2. Thus, children may travel at least as safely to an altitude of 3500 m as adolescents and adults, even if risk factors (pain sensitivity and heredity) are present.

Abstract

AIM: To investigate symptoms, prevalence and associated factors of acute mountain sickness (AMS) in families upon a fast ascent to 3450 m. Methods: 87 children, 70 adolescents, and 155 parents (n=312) were assessed for AMS 8-10 and 20-24 hours after fast passive ascent by the Lake Louise Score (LLS). Pain sensitivity and oxygen saturation (SO2) were measured and familial clustering was assessed.
RESULTS: AMS prevalence was significantly lower in children (21%) compared to adolescents (34%) and adults (39%) on day 1 (p<0.05), but not on day 2 (18% vs. 19% and 25%). Cumulative prevalence of AMS was 30, 37, and 45% in children, adolescents, and adults, respectively (p<0.001). Familial clustering of AMS was consistent and explained 25%-50% of variability in AMS. Pain sensitivity significantly increased from low to high altitude and was higher at low altitude in those with compared to those without AMS. SO2 at high altitude was not related to the presence of AMS.
CONCLUSIONS: After fast ascent to 3500 m, AMS prevalence was lower in children than in adolescents and adults on day 1, but not on day 2. Thus, children may travel at least as safely to an altitude of 3500 m as adolescents and adults, even if risk factors (pain sensitivity and heredity) are present.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:13 Jan 2015 10:25
Last Modified:10 Dec 2017 22:29
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN:1527-0297
Additional Information:This is a copy of an article published in the [High Altitude Medicine & Biology] © [2014] [copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.]; [High Altitude Medicine & Biology] is available online at: http://online.liebertpub.com.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1089/ham.2013.1073
PubMed ID:24559431

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