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Altitude illness: risk factors, prevention, presentation, and treatment.
Am Fam Physician. 2010 Nov 01; 82(9):1103-10.AF

Abstract

Altitude illness affects 25 to 85 percent of travelers to high altitudes, depending on their rate of ascent, home altitude, individual susceptibility, and other risk factors. Acute mountain sickness is the most common presentation of altitude illness and typically causes headache and malaise within six to 12 hours of gaining altitude. It may progress to high-altitude cerebral edema in some persons. Onset is heralded by worsening symptoms of acute mountain sickness, progressing to ataxia and eventually to coma and death if not treated. High-altitude pulmonary edema is uncommon, but is the leading cause of altitude illness-related death. It may appear in otherwise healthy persons and may progress rapidly with cough, dyspnea, and frothy sputum. Slow ascent is the most important measure to prevent the onset of altitude illness. If this is not possible, or if symptoms occur despite slow ascent, acetazolamide or dexamethasone may be used for prophylaxis or treatment of acute mountain sickness. Descent is mandatory for all persons with high-altitude cerebral or pulmonary edema. Patients with stable coronary and pulmonary disease may travel to high altitudes but are at risk of exacerbation of these illnesses. Medical management is prudent in these patients.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557, USA. dfiore@medicine.nevada.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21121556

Citation

Fiore, David C., et al. "Altitude Illness: Risk Factors, Prevention, Presentation, and Treatment." American Family Physician, vol. 82, no. 9, 2010, pp. 1103-10.
Fiore DC, Hall S, Shoja P. Altitude illness: risk factors, prevention, presentation, and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2010;82(9):1103-10.
Fiore, D. C., Hall, S., & Shoja, P. (2010). Altitude illness: risk factors, prevention, presentation, and treatment. American Family Physician, 82(9), 1103-10.
Fiore DC, Hall S, Shoja P. Altitude Illness: Risk Factors, Prevention, Presentation, and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2010 Nov 1;82(9):1103-10. PubMed PMID: 21121556.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Altitude illness: risk factors, prevention, presentation, and treatment. AU - Fiore,David C, AU - Hall,Scott, AU - Shoja,Pantea, PY - 2010/12/3/entrez PY - 2010/12/3/pubmed PY - 2011/1/19/medline SP - 1103 EP - 10 JF - American family physician JO - Am Fam Physician VL - 82 IS - 9 N2 - Altitude illness affects 25 to 85 percent of travelers to high altitudes, depending on their rate of ascent, home altitude, individual susceptibility, and other risk factors. Acute mountain sickness is the most common presentation of altitude illness and typically causes headache and malaise within six to 12 hours of gaining altitude. It may progress to high-altitude cerebral edema in some persons. Onset is heralded by worsening symptoms of acute mountain sickness, progressing to ataxia and eventually to coma and death if not treated. High-altitude pulmonary edema is uncommon, but is the leading cause of altitude illness-related death. It may appear in otherwise healthy persons and may progress rapidly with cough, dyspnea, and frothy sputum. Slow ascent is the most important measure to prevent the onset of altitude illness. If this is not possible, or if symptoms occur despite slow ascent, acetazolamide or dexamethasone may be used for prophylaxis or treatment of acute mountain sickness. Descent is mandatory for all persons with high-altitude cerebral or pulmonary edema. Patients with stable coronary and pulmonary disease may travel to high altitudes but are at risk of exacerbation of these illnesses. Medical management is prudent in these patients. SN - 1532-0650 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21121556/Altitude_illness:_risk_factors_prevention_presentation_and_treatment_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -