Pre-existing cardiovascular conditions and high altitude travel

Enrico Donegani, David Hillebrandt, Jeremy Windsor, Ulf Gieseler, George W Rodway, Volker Schöffl, Thomas Küpper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The number of persons visiting high altitude regions for various purposes (recreation, business etc.), and the age of people who do so, increases. Therefore there are more and more patients who need specific and individual advice to prevent emergency situations at altitude and to deal with emergencies if the safety strategy should fail. Since literature concerning cardiocirculatory diseases at altitude is scarce and studies with a controlled setting and high evidence level are missing, UIAA MedCom has checked all available literature for specific information to enable physicians who are active in travel or high altitude medicine to advise the patients at the highest possible level of evidence. It must be pointed out that there are several other medical fields where such information is mandatory, e.g. in occupational medicine, when employees depart to high altitude destinations for business purposes. The recommendations are based on a detailed literature research (databases, handbooks and the respective references). For easier use the paper has been structured as follows: general information, cardiocirculatory system and ECG at altitude, several cardiocirculatory diseases and their specific recommendations. The commission concludes, that a general "don't go!" is no state-of-the-art advice for the patients. With the information presented here a safe trip to altitude should be possible for many patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalTravel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Altitude
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)


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