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Altitude preexposure recommendations for inducing acclimatization.
For many low-altitude (<1500 m) residents, their travel itineraries may cause them to ascend rapidly to high (>2400 m) altitudes without having the time to develop an adequate degree of altitude acclimatization. Prior to departing on these trips, low-altitude residents can induce some degree of altitude acclimatization by ascending to moderate (>1500 m) or high altitudes during either continuous or intermittent altitude preexposures. Generally, the degree of altitude acclimatization developed is proportional to the altitude attained and the duration of exposure. The available evidence suggests that continuous residence at 2200 m or higher for 1 to 2 days or daily 1.5- to 4-h exposures to >4000 m induce ventilatory acclimatization. Six days at 2200 m substantially decreases acute mountain sickness (AMS) and improves work performance after rapid ascent to 4300 m. There is evidence that 5 or more days above 3000 m within the last 2 months will significantly decrease AMS during a subsequent rapid ascent to 4500 m. Exercise training during the altitude preexposures may augment improvement in physical performance. The persistence of altitude acclimatization after return to low altitude appears to be proportional to the degree of acclimatization developed. The subsequent ascent to high altitude should be scheduled as soon as possible after the last altitude preexposure.
Pub Type(s)Journal Article