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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.40 - 2014
ARTICLE – abstract


The role of acclimatization in preventing acute mountain sickness: 
research on a group of 36 climbers on climbing the mountain Muztagh Ata, China, 
between 3600 and 7546 m altitude

Banu Gheorghe
The Emergency Military Hospital Regina Maria, Brasov, Romania

Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify and compare the frequency and intensity of symptoms of acute mountain sickness in a group of climbers during their training for acclimatization and post-acclimatization at high altitude.
Material and Method. The study included 36 climbers aged between 35-64 years who trained and acclimatized between 3600-6800m in Muztagh Ata (7546m), China, in order to climb the peak on skis or snowshoes. To diagnose acute mountain sickness (AMS), questionnaires based on the Lake Louise symptomatic and functional score of self-evaluation were distributed. These were afterwards collected and analyzed in relation to demographic data, the altitude reached and the rate of climb in camps set between 3600-6800m, before and after acclimatization. Results. the prevalence of AMS during the acclimatization between 3600-6800 m was 31.40% between 3600-4450m and 69.60% between 4450-6800 m. At 6,800 m it was 81.48%. After acclimatization, between 4450 -6800m, on average 44.81% of the subjects suffered from AMS, and at 7546m, 8 (66.66%) suffered from AMS, and 4 (33.34) not. Of the 36 climbers who wanted to reach the top, only 12 (33.83%) were able to meet the proposed target (7546 m). Of these, 4 (11.11%) showed no AMS. In total, 88.89% suffered from mild to moderate AMS at different altitudes, with 4.66% presenting reversible forms.
Conclusion. the prevention of  acute mountain sickness, of its  severe complications and the success in climbing at high altitude (7546 m) are determined by many factors: age, health, training and stamina, technical climbing, ski touring, snowshoes, a good acclimatization by following all stages of acclimatization, the ascent rate, the  adaptation to extreme weather conditions and teamwork.
 
Key words:

high altitude, illness, acclimatization

Full article:

The role of acclimatization in preventing acute mountain sickness: research on a group of 36 climbers on climbing the mountain Muztagh Ata, China, between 3600 and 7546 m altitude
 
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