Prevalence and time course of acute mountain sickness in older children and adolescents after rapid ascent to 3450 meters

Bloch, Jonathan; Duplain, Hervé; Rimoldi, Stefano F; Stuber, Thomas; Kriemler, Susi; Allemann, Yves; Sartori, Claudio; Scherrer, Urs (2009). Prevalence and time course of acute mountain sickness in older children and adolescents after rapid ascent to 3450 meters. Pediatrics, 123(1), pp. 1-5. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics 10.1542/peds.2008-0200

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OBJECTIVE: Acute mountain sickness is a frequent and debilitating complication of high-altitude exposure, but there is little information on the prevalence and time course of acute mountain sickness in children and adolescents after rapid ascent by mechanical transportation to 3500 m, an altitude at which major tourist destinations are located throughout the world. METHODS: We performed serial assessments of acute mountain sickness (Lake Louise scores) in 48 healthy nonacclimatized children and adolescents (mean +/- SD age: 13.7 +/- 0.3 years; 20 girls and 28 boys), with no previous high-altitude experience, 6, 18, and 42 hours after arrival at the Jungfraujoch high-altitude research station (3450 m), which was reached through a 2.5-hour train ascent. RESULTS: We found that the overall prevalence of acute mountain sickness during the first 3 days at high altitude was 37.5%. Rates were similar for the 2 genders and decreased progressively during the stay (25% at 6 hours, 21% at 18 hours, and 8% at 42 hours). None of the subjects needed to be evacuated to lower altitude. Five subjects needed symptomatic treatment and responded well. CONCLUSION: After rapid ascent to high altitude, the prevalence of acute mountain sickness in children and adolescents was relatively low; the clinical manifestations were benign and resolved rapidly. These findings suggest that, for the majority of healthy nonacclimatized children and adolescents, travel to 3500 m is safe and pharmacologic prophylaxis for acute mountain sickness is not needed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Rimoldi, Stefano and Allemann, Yves

ISSN:

0031-4005

ISBN:

19117853

Publisher:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:09

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 22:25

Publisher DOI:

10.1542/peds.2008-0200

PubMed ID:

19117853

Web of Science ID:

000262046400001

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/30211 (FactScience: 191450)

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