Research Article| Volume 1, ISSUE 2, P86-92, May 1990

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High incidence of mild acute mountain sickness in conference attendees at 10 000 foot altitude

  • A.G. Dean
    To whom correspondence should be addressed at: Epidemiology Program Office, Mailstop G24, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA, 30333, USA.
    Division of Surveillance and Epidemiologic Studies, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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  • R. Yip
    Division of Nutrition, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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  • R.E. Hoffmann
    Division of Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology, Colorado Department of Health, Denver, Colorado, USA
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      An epidemic of mild acute mountain sickness (AMS) occurred at a 4-day meeting of epidemiologists held at an altitude of 3000 m (9800 ft) in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA. Questionnaires from 96% of the 105 attendees documented the following symptom frequencies: headache, 59%; shortness of breath, 59%; difficulty in sleeping, 45%; weakness or dizziness, 40%; and nausea, 12%. AMS, defined as three or more symptoms, occurred in 42% of the respondents, and 90% had at least one symptom. One third felt the illness interfered with their concentration at the meeting, and 31% would not plan another meeting at this altitude, although only one person missed meeting sessions as a result of the AMS. AMS should be anticipated by those planning meetings of short duration at high altitude, and by physicians advising travelers to altitudes over 2000 m.



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