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Serious altitude illness in travelers who visited a pre-travel clinic.
J Travel Med. 2014 Nov-Dec; 21(6):403-9.JT

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Few data are available on the incidence and predictors of serious altitude illness in travelers who visit pre-travel clinics. Travel health consultants advise on measures to be taken in case of serious altitude illness but it is not clear if travelers adhere to these recommendations.

METHODS

Visitors to six travel clinics who planned to travel to an altitude of ≥3,000 m were asked to complete a diary from the first day at 2,000 m until 3 days after reaching the maximum sleeping altitude. Serious altitude illness was defined as having symptoms of serious acute mountain sickness (AMS score ≥ 6) and/or cerebral edema and/or pulmonary edema.

RESULTS

The incidence of serious altitude illness in the 401 included participants of whom 90% reached ≥4,000 m, was 35%; 23% had symptoms of serious AMS, 25% symptoms of cerebral edema, and 13% symptoms of pulmonary edema. Independent predictors were young age, the occurrence of dark urine, travel in South America or Africa, and lack of acclimatization between 1,000 and 2,500 m. Acetazolamide was brought along by 77% of the responders of whom 41% took at least one dose. Of those with serious altitude illness, 57% had taken at least one dose of acetazolamide, 20% descended below 2,500 m on the same day or the next, and 11% consulted a physician.

CONCLUSIONS

Serious altitude illness was a very frequent problem in travelers who visited pre-travel clinics. Young age, dark urine, travel in South America or Africa, and lack of acclimatization nights at moderate altitude were independent predictors. Furthermore, we found that seriously ill travelers seldom followed the advice to descend and to visit a physician.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Environment, GGD Hart voor Brabant, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25238200

Citation

Croughs, Mieke, et al. "Serious Altitude Illness in Travelers Who Visited a Pre-travel Clinic." Journal of Travel Medicine, vol. 21, no. 6, 2014, pp. 403-9.
Croughs M, Van Gompel A, Rameckers S, et al. Serious altitude illness in travelers who visited a pre-travel clinic. J Travel Med. 2014;21(6):403-9.
Croughs, M., Van Gompel, A., Rameckers, S., & Van den Ende, J. (2014). Serious altitude illness in travelers who visited a pre-travel clinic. Journal of Travel Medicine, 21(6), 403-9. https://doi.org/10.1111/jtm.12160
Croughs M, et al. Serious Altitude Illness in Travelers Who Visited a Pre-travel Clinic. J Travel Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;21(6):403-9. PubMed PMID: 25238200.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Serious altitude illness in travelers who visited a pre-travel clinic. AU - Croughs,Mieke, AU - Van Gompel,Alfons, AU - Rameckers,Sarah, AU - Van den Ende,Jef, Y1 - 2014/09/19/ PY - 2014/04/16/received PY - 2014/06/29/revised PY - 2014/07/15/accepted PY - 2014/9/20/entrez PY - 2014/9/23/pubmed PY - 2015/7/2/medline SP - 403 EP - 9 JF - Journal of travel medicine JO - J Travel Med VL - 21 IS - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: Few data are available on the incidence and predictors of serious altitude illness in travelers who visit pre-travel clinics. Travel health consultants advise on measures to be taken in case of serious altitude illness but it is not clear if travelers adhere to these recommendations. METHODS: Visitors to six travel clinics who planned to travel to an altitude of ≥3,000 m were asked to complete a diary from the first day at 2,000 m until 3 days after reaching the maximum sleeping altitude. Serious altitude illness was defined as having symptoms of serious acute mountain sickness (AMS score ≥ 6) and/or cerebral edema and/or pulmonary edema. RESULTS: The incidence of serious altitude illness in the 401 included participants of whom 90% reached ≥4,000 m, was 35%; 23% had symptoms of serious AMS, 25% symptoms of cerebral edema, and 13% symptoms of pulmonary edema. Independent predictors were young age, the occurrence of dark urine, travel in South America or Africa, and lack of acclimatization between 1,000 and 2,500 m. Acetazolamide was brought along by 77% of the responders of whom 41% took at least one dose. Of those with serious altitude illness, 57% had taken at least one dose of acetazolamide, 20% descended below 2,500 m on the same day or the next, and 11% consulted a physician. CONCLUSIONS: Serious altitude illness was a very frequent problem in travelers who visited pre-travel clinics. Young age, dark urine, travel in South America or Africa, and lack of acclimatization nights at moderate altitude were independent predictors. Furthermore, we found that seriously ill travelers seldom followed the advice to descend and to visit a physician. SN - 1708-8305 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25238200/Serious_altitude_illness_in_travelers_who_visited_a_pre_travel_clinic_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article-lookup/doi/10.1111/jtm.12160 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -