Novel Insights into Cardiovascular Regulation in Patients with Chronic Mountain Sickness

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016:903:83-100. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4899-7678-9_6.


Studies of high-altitude populations, and in particular of maladapted subgroups, may provide important insight into underlying mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of hypoxemia-related disease in general. Chronic mountain sickness (CMS) is a major public health problem in mountainous regions of the world affecting many millions of high-altitude dwellers. It is characterized by exaggerated chronic hypoxemia, erythrocytosis, and mild pulmonary hypertension. In later stages these patients often present with right heart failure and are predisposed to systemic cardiovascular disease, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we present recent new data providing insight into underlying mechanisms that may cause these complications.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness; Chronic hypoxemia; Endothelial function; Intima-media thickness; Nitric oxide; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Altitude Sickness / pathology*
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / complications
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Vasoconstriction