Hypertension was the most frequent type of CVD. However, the recorded frequency of CVD in high-altitude mountaineers is lower compared to hikers and alpine skiers. Mountain Selleckchem SP600125 sports have become very popular, and the number of tourists visiting altitudes above 2,000 m worldwide is estimated to be more than 100 million per year.1 The majority of them perform alpine skiing or hiking. High-altitude mountaineering represents a further popular mountain sport in high mountain areas. High-altitude mountaineering in this article is defined as (1) ascending
on foot to altitudes >3,000 m and (2) crossing glaciers using harness, rope, and, if necessary, crampons. High-altitude mountaineers hike on trackless terrain (eg, snow, rocky passages, and glaciers) with rather heavy equipment. The characteristics of high-altitude mountaineering challenge the technical skills and endurance of the participants and can elicit high exercise intensities. Therefore,
high-altitude mountaineering has to be distinguished from other mountain sports such as alpine skiing, hiking, or ski mountaineering. High-altitude mountaineering is associated with manifold risks (eg, slips and falls, breaking into crevasses), but about 50% of all Selleckchem BMN 673 fatalities during mountain sport activities are sudden cardiac deaths.2 Although sojourns at moderate altitude are well tolerated by persons with cardiovascular diseases (CVD),3 preexisting CVD are associated with an increased risk for fatal and nonfatal cardiac events during high-intensity exercise and mountain sports.2,4,5 Previous studies on different mountain sport activities have shown a mountain sport-specific prevalence of CVD. The frequency of persons with known CVD was 12.7% in hikers and 11.2% in alpine skiers,6 whereas it was considerably lower (5.8%) in disciplines with high psychophysiological demands such as ski mountaineering.7
This might also be assumed for high-altitude mountaineers. Despite the increasing popularity and the specific conditions of high-altitude mountaineering, epidemiological CYTH4 data on its participants are lacking. Therefore, the goal of this survey was to evaluate the prevalence of preexisting CVD among high-altitude mountaineers. We studied a cohort of high-altitude mountaineers (target sample size n = 500) using a standardized questionnaire (in German), which was tested previously and revised to improve clarity and time efficiency. The questionnaire was validated in patients with various diseases and healthy persons (n = 20). For this purpose, the medical diagnoses of the persons were compared with the results of the questionnaires. The calculated sensitivity and specificity amounted to 100 and 93%, respectively.