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Impaired postural control in healthy men at moderate altitude (1630 m and 2590 m): data from a randomized trial


Stadelmann, Katrin; Latshang, Tsogyal D; Lo Cascio, Christian M; Clark, Ross A; Huber, Reto; Kohler, Malcolm; Achermann, Peter; Bloch, Konrad E (2015). Impaired postural control in healthy men at moderate altitude (1630 m and 2590 m): data from a randomized trial. PLoS ONE, 10(2):e0116695.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES Intact postural control is essential for safe performance of mountain sports, operation of machinery at altitude, and for piloting airplanes. We tested whether exposure to hypobaric hypoxia at moderate altitude impairs the static postural control of healthy subjects. METHODS In 51 healthy men, median age 24 y (quartiles 20;28), static control was evaluated on a balance platform in Zurich, 490 m, and during a 4-day sojourn in Swiss mountain villages at 1630 m and 2590 m, 2 days each. The order of altitude exposure was randomized. Total center of pressure path length (COPL) and sway amplitude measured in two directions by a balance platform, and pulse oximetry were recorded. Data were compared between altitudes. RESULTS Median (quartiles) COPL during standing on both legs with eyes open at 490 m and in the evenings on the first and second days at 1630 and 2590 m, respectively were: 50 (45;57), 55 (48;62), 56 (49;61), 53 (47;59), 54 (48;60) cm, P<0.001 ANOVA. Corresponding arterial oxygen saturation was 97% (96;97), 95% (94;96), 95%(94;96), 92%(90;93), 93%(91;93), P<0.001. Anterior-posterior sway amplitudes were larger at 1630 and 2590 m compared to 490 m, P<0.001. Multiple logistic regression analysis confirmed that higher altitudes (1630 and 2590m) were independently associated with increased COPL when controlled for the order of altitude exposure and age (P=0.001). CONCLUSIONS Exposure to 1630 and 2590m was associated with impaired static postural control even when visual references were available. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01130948.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES Intact postural control is essential for safe performance of mountain sports, operation of machinery at altitude, and for piloting airplanes. We tested whether exposure to hypobaric hypoxia at moderate altitude impairs the static postural control of healthy subjects. METHODS In 51 healthy men, median age 24 y (quartiles 20;28), static control was evaluated on a balance platform in Zurich, 490 m, and during a 4-day sojourn in Swiss mountain villages at 1630 m and 2590 m, 2 days each. The order of altitude exposure was randomized. Total center of pressure path length (COPL) and sway amplitude measured in two directions by a balance platform, and pulse oximetry were recorded. Data were compared between altitudes. RESULTS Median (quartiles) COPL during standing on both legs with eyes open at 490 m and in the evenings on the first and second days at 1630 and 2590 m, respectively were: 50 (45;57), 55 (48;62), 56 (49;61), 53 (47;59), 54 (48;60) cm, P<0.001 ANOVA. Corresponding arterial oxygen saturation was 97% (96;97), 95% (94;96), 95%(94;96), 92%(90;93), 93%(91;93), P<0.001. Anterior-posterior sway amplitudes were larger at 1630 and 2590 m compared to 490 m, P<0.001. Multiple logistic regression analysis confirmed that higher altitudes (1630 and 2590m) were independently associated with increased COPL when controlled for the order of altitude exposure and age (P=0.001). CONCLUSIONS Exposure to 1630 and 2590m was associated with impaired static postural control even when visual references were available. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01130948.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Pneumology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:04 Dec 2015 09:02
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 23:55
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116695
PubMed ID:25723529

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