Navigation Links
2 days of staging as effective as 4 for high-altitude climbs
Date:4/21/2013

BOSTONAfghanistan's geography is dominated by a collection of craggy peaks, the highesta mountain known as Noshaqhas been measured to 7,492 meters. Consequently, the soldiers on duty in this mountainous terrain must often ascend to great heights as part of their duty. However, quick climbs without adapting to altitude can lead to a condition called acute mountain sickness (AMS), marked by headache, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress, nausea, and insomnia.

Conventional knowledge suggests that to avoid AMS, climbers need to "stage," or set up camp, at a lower altitude for four days when summiting peaks as high as 4300 meters. However, with this being impractical in a combat environment, military researchers set out to test whether this goal could be accomplished more quicklyin half the time. In a new study by Beth A. Beidleman, Charles S. Fulco, Robert W. Kenefick, Allen Cymerman, Janet E. Staab, and Stephen R. Muza, all of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, researchers tested whether two days of staging at a moderate altitude is enough to avoid AMS before ascent to 4300 meters. Their findings show that this significant shortcut is about as effective as utilizing twice the time to stage, providing evidence that soldiers can ascend safely much quicker than previously thought.

The team will discuss the abstract of their study entitled, "Two Days of Staging at Moderate Altitude Reduces Acute Mountain Sickness Upon Further Ascent to 4300 m in Unacclimatized Lowlanders," during a poster presentation at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting, being held April 20-24, 2013 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, Mass. The presentation is sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS), a co-sponsor of the event. As the findings are being presented at a scientific conference, they should be considered preliminary, as they have not undergone the peer review process that is conducted prior to the data being published in a scientific journal.

At the Peak

Study leader Beidleman explains that the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine's stated mission is to improve health and performance of the Warfighter when exposed to extreme environments. That includes heat and cold, as well as extreme altitude, Beidleman's own area of expertise.

Years ago, researchers showed that staging for four days cut the prevalence of AMS by about half. However, Beidleman says, researchers had never studied whether this time could be trimmed down even further.

To investigate, she and her colleagues studied male soldiers ascending Pike's Peak in Colorado, the summit of which stands at 4,302 meters above sea level. They assigned 12 of these soldiers to stage for two days at 2500 meters. Another seven soldiers staged for two days at 3000 meters. Seven more ascended directly to the peak.

Trimming AMS by Half

Their findings showed that about 73 percent of soldiers who took a direct route to the peak showed symptoms of AMS. However, only 30 to 40 percent of those who staged for two days ended up with this condition, regardless of their staging height.

"These results suggest that you don't have to stay at a moderate altitude for four days. You can stay there for two days and reap the same benefits," Beidleman says.

She explains that two days is enough time for the body to begin affecting the biological changes necessary to live comfortably at a higher altitude. Within hours to days, she says, climbers begin to breathe faster and reduce blood plasma volume which helps the body bring more oxygen to cells, she says. These immediate changes help cells survive until the body implements more long-term changes, such as increasing the number of red blood cells and other metabolic changes.

"The military is always looking for faster, more effective solutions to problems," she says. "Now we know that our soldiers can climb quicker with less risk of serious problems."

Beidleman notes that future studies will investigate the effects of shorter staging at higher altitudes and in female soldiers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A trial to find out the effectiveness of biocides against Vespa velutina
2. UCLA researchers find nanodiamonds could improve effectiveness of breast cancer treatment
3. Squashed loft insulation 50 percent less effective
4. Highly effective communities of bacteria in the worlds deepest oceanic trench
5. Symbols, such as traffic lights, on menus effective in educating diners
6. The effective collective: Grouping could ensure animals find their way in a changing environment
7. UNC study may lead to treatments that are effective against all MRSA strains
8. Lady beetle diet influences its effectiveness as biocontrol agent
9. New whole plant therapy shows promise as an effective and economical treatment for malaria
10. Study reports iron oxide nanoparticles effective for labeling human endothelial cells
11. New technique could make cell-based immune therapies for cancer safer and more effective
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel visited ... to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. ... the largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could see the ... well as DERMALOGĀ“s multi-biometrics system.   Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... HAMBURG, Germany , March 13, 2017 Future of ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match ... characteristics forms the basis to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... -- Brandwatch , the leading social intelligence company, today announces ... to uncover insights to support its reporting, help direct future campaigns, ... leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch Analytics social listening and ... understanding of the topics and issues that are a priority for ... "Until ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... DUBLIN , March 27, 2017 ... access to a comprehensive library of reports on Valero ... the transportation fuels and petrochemical industries. ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO) ... is biofuel production to go green. Ethanol today, even though ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV), ... Chief Executive Officer, Bill Welch , will be ... 2017 at 9:00 AM EDT at the Essex House ... Welch, and Chief Scientific Officer, Mark Erlander , ... during the conference.   The presentation will be ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 MiMedx Group, Inc. ... utilizing human placental tissue allografts and patent-protected processes to ... sectors of healthcare, announced today  that it will present ... York , NY.  Parker H. "Pete" Petit, Chairman ... Officer, Christopher M. Cashman , EVP and Chief ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SVA), a leading provider of ... its board of directors has amended its shareholder rights plan. The amendment ... to March 27, 2018. The amendment was not in response to any ... ... is a China -based biopharmaceutical company that focuses ...
Breaking Biology Technology: