Safety and exercise tolerance of acute high altitude exposure (3454 m) among patients with coronary artery disease

Schmid, J-P; Noveanu, M; Gaillet, R; Hellige, G; Wahl, A; Saner, H (2006). Safety and exercise tolerance of acute high altitude exposure (3454 m) among patients with coronary artery disease. Heart, 92(7), pp. 921-5. London: BMJ Publishing Group 10.1136/hrt.2005.072520

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

OBJECTIVES: To assess the safety and cardiopulmonary adaptation to high altitude exposure among patients with coronary artery disease. METHODS: 22 patients (20 men and 2 women), mean age 57 (SD 7) years, underwent a maximal, symptom limited exercise stress test in Bern, Switzerland (540 m) and after a rapid ascent to the Jungfraujoch (3454 m). The study population comprised 15 patients after ST elevation myocardial infarction and 7 after a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction 12 (SD 4) months after the acute event. All patients were revascularised either by percutaneous coronary angioplasty (n = 15) or by coronary artery bypass surgery (n = 7). Ejection fraction was 60 (SD 8)%. beta blocking agents were withheld for five days before exercise testing. RESULTS: At 3454 m, peak oxygen uptake decreased by 19% (p < 0.001), maximum work capacity by 15% (p < 0.001) and exercise time by 16% (p < 0.001); heart rate, ventilation and lactate were significantly higher at every level of exercise, except at maximum exertion. No ECG signs of myocardial ischaemia or significant arrhythmias were noted. CONCLUSIONS: Although oxygen demand and lactate concentrations are higher during exercise at high altitude, a rapid ascent and submaximal exercise can be considered safe at an altitude of 3454 m for low risk patients six months after revascularisation for an acute coronary event and a normal exercise stress test at low altitude.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

UniBE Contributor:

Schmid, Jean-Paul; Wahl, Andreas and Saner, Hugo






BMJ Publishing Group




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:46

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:41

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 1416)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback