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Letters Altitude sickness

Hyperventilatory capacity may predict altitude sickness

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 10 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:106
  1. Maximilian Ledochowski, senior consultant, department of internal medicine (,
  2. Dietmar Fuchs, professor, institute of medical chemistry and biochemistry (
  1. University of Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria

    EDITOR–Barry and Pollard reviewed altitude sickness.1 Tibetans and Sherpas (of Tibetan origin) have better physical performance at high altitude than whitepeople,2 possibly because of genetic differences.3 Acute adaptation to high altitude and low oxygen supply is primarilyby hyperventilation, which both improves oxygen saturation and increases blood pH. The capacity tocorrect respiratory alkalosis is thus …

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