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Determinants of summiting success and acute mountain sickness on Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 m).
Wilderness Environ Med. 2009 Winter; 20(4):311-7.WE

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the incidence of acute mountain sickness (AMS), the frequency of summiting success, and the factors that affect these in trekkers on Kilimanjaro, one of the world's most summitted high-altitude peaks.

METHODS

The study group comprised 312 trekkers attempting Mt Kilimanjaro summit by the Marango Route. Trekkers ascended over 4 or 5 days along a fixed ascent profile, stopping at 3 huts on ascent (2700 m, 3700 m, and 4700 m) before attempting the summit. Researchers were stationed at each hut for 16 days. Each night we measured heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and Lake Louise Score. We recorded the highest altitude that trekkers reached on the mountain.

RESULTS

Of 181 complete sets of data, 111 (61%) trekkers reached the summit, and 139 (77%) developed AMS. Physiological results were not related to summit success. The incidence of AMS and summiting success were similar in those on the 4- or 5-day route. Trekkers on the 5-day route who used acetazolamide were less likely to develop AMS and more likely to summit than were those not taking acetazolamide (P = <.05); this difference was not present with trekkers on the 4-day route.

CONCLUSIONS

The risk of developing AMS is high on Mt Kilimanjaro. Although taking an extra day to acclimatize with the use of acetazolamide did provide some protection against AMS, ideally trekkers need a more gradual route profile for climbing this mountain.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Manchester Altitude Research Society, University of Manchester Medical School, Manchester, UK. andrewjohndavies@doctors.org.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20030437

Citation

Davies, Andrew J., et al. "Determinants of Summiting Success and Acute Mountain Sickness On Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 M)." Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, vol. 20, no. 4, 2009, pp. 311-7.
Davies AJ, Kalson NS, Stokes S, et al. Determinants of summiting success and acute mountain sickness on Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 m). Wilderness Environ Med. 2009;20(4):311-7.
Davies, A. J., Kalson, N. S., Stokes, S., Earl, M. D., Whitehead, A. G., Frost, H., Tyrell-Marsh, I., & Naylor, J. (2009). Determinants of summiting success and acute mountain sickness on Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 m). Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, 20(4), 311-7. https://doi.org/10.1580/1080-6032-020.004.0311
Davies AJ, et al. Determinants of Summiting Success and Acute Mountain Sickness On Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 M). Wilderness Environ Med. 2009;20(4):311-7. PubMed PMID: 20030437.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Determinants of summiting success and acute mountain sickness on Mt Kilimanjaro (5895 m). AU - Davies,Andrew J, AU - Kalson,Nicholas S, AU - Stokes,Suzy, AU - Earl,Mark D, AU - Whitehead,Adam G, AU - Frost,Hannah, AU - Tyrell-Marsh,Ian, AU - Naylor,Jon, PY - 2009/12/25/entrez PY - 2009/12/25/pubmed PY - 2010/3/30/medline SP - 311 EP - 7 JF - Wilderness & environmental medicine JO - Wilderness Environ Med VL - 20 IS - 4 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of acute mountain sickness (AMS), the frequency of summiting success, and the factors that affect these in trekkers on Kilimanjaro, one of the world's most summitted high-altitude peaks. METHODS: The study group comprised 312 trekkers attempting Mt Kilimanjaro summit by the Marango Route. Trekkers ascended over 4 or 5 days along a fixed ascent profile, stopping at 3 huts on ascent (2700 m, 3700 m, and 4700 m) before attempting the summit. Researchers were stationed at each hut for 16 days. Each night we measured heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and Lake Louise Score. We recorded the highest altitude that trekkers reached on the mountain. RESULTS: Of 181 complete sets of data, 111 (61%) trekkers reached the summit, and 139 (77%) developed AMS. Physiological results were not related to summit success. The incidence of AMS and summiting success were similar in those on the 4- or 5-day route. Trekkers on the 5-day route who used acetazolamide were less likely to develop AMS and more likely to summit than were those not taking acetazolamide (P = <.05); this difference was not present with trekkers on the 4-day route. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of developing AMS is high on Mt Kilimanjaro. Although taking an extra day to acclimatize with the use of acetazolamide did provide some protection against AMS, ideally trekkers need a more gradual route profile for climbing this mountain. SN - 1545-1534 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20030437/full_citation L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/1080-6032-20-4-311 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -