Orthostatic responses at 4860 m in low, moderate, and high altitude residents
High Altitude Medicine and Biology
Mary Ann Liebert
This study evaluated the influence of altitude of residence on orthostatic responses when exposed to high altitude. Data collection took place at the Carrel hut (4860 m) on Chimborazo in Ecuador. After being transported to the hut by vehicle, 69 people volunteered for the study. A 3-min stand test (rapid change from supine to standing) provided an orthostatic challenge while resting heart rate (RHR), systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures, and arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) were measured. Participants were separated into four groups based on altitude of residence and ethnicity: LOW (<1500 m; n=15), MOD (1500-3000 m, n=30), and HIGH (>3000 m, n=11) Ecuadorians, and non-Ecuadorian lowlanders (NE-LOW, n=13). Supine and standing RHRs were lower (p<0.05) for HIGH compared to other groups. Furthermore, standing increased RHR in LOW, MOD, and NE-LOW by 11.9 ± 5.3, 9.5 ± 4.1, and 11.6 ± 7.4 bpm, respectively, while HIGH stayed the same (0.6 bpm increase ± 3.3). Additionally, mean arterial pressure decreased slightly but not significantly upon standing in all groups except HIGH. The difference in Spo2 among groups was not significant (p>0.05). Altitude of residence influences the cardiovascular responses to orthostatic stress with HIGH having blunted responses and greater tolerance.
Davis JE, Wagner DR, Thorington J, & Schall C. (2013). Orthostatic responses at 4860 m in low, moderate, and high altitude residents. High Altitude Medicine & Biology. 14:251-255.