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    Altitude Sickness Might Be Predicted by a Test

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Altitude sickness affects around 30 percent of people when they travel to 8 thousand feet or higher above sea level. A new test claims to be able to predict if someone will experience altitude sickness within hours of being in the low oxygen conditions. 

    Altitude sickness affects around 30 percent of people when they travel to 8 thousand feet or higher above sea level.

    A new test claims to be able to predict if someone will experience altitude sickness within hours of being in the low oxygen conditions.

    The study tested 34 healthy subjects at sea level and again after they rode a cable car more than 12 thousand feet up a mountain located in the French Alps.

    Doctor Rosa Maria Bruno, who led the study said: “We don't know exactly why some people can adapt successfully to high altitude and other people cannot, or how to identify susceptible individuals in whom preventative strategies may be applied. This can be an important problem since an increasing number of people of all ages go to high altitude... without being conscious of the potential risks.”

    The test to see if a person is susceptible can only be administered after they have been at high altitude for four hours or more, but it has proven to be accurate by measuring oxygen saturation levels, and cardiovascular function using an ultrasound.

    Symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, nausea and dizziness, and are usually mild, but in the most extreme cases, it can be fatal, causing fluid to accumulate in a person’s brain and lungs.