Document Detail

Cardiac arrhythmia at high altitude: the progressive effect of aging.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10653252     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
To evaluate the effects of aging on cardiac rhythm at high altitude, I wore a Holter monitor at age 75 during a climb to 5,100 m on Mt. Kilimanjaro, then compared findings with those from my climb to 5,895 m at age 65. Holter leads were placed to identify left or right ventricular source of ectopy, and on the 2nd ascent arterial oxygen saturation was monitored by finger oximetry. Sea-level testing revealed no evidence of cardiac disease. During ascent from 4,710 to 5,100 m, when arterial oxygen saturation reached 70%, heart rate was higher (123 vs 116 beats per minute), and frequency of left ventricular premature complexes was greater (56 vs 50 per hour) than on the earlier ascent. Nine 3- to 5-complex runs of left ventricular tachycardia were recorded during climbing, resting, or sleeping, and there was 1 run of 14 complexes at 250 beats per minute during the climb near 5,100 m. These observations suggest that aging increases sympathetic response or sensitivity, or both, to hypoxia during exercise, and even during sleep. Also, our focus should perhaps be on sympathetic stimulation rather than on pulmonary hypertension as a cause of arrhythmia in unacclimatized older persons at high altitude.
J K Alexander
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Texas Heart Institute journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital     Volume:  26     ISSN:  0730-2347     ISO Abbreviation:  Tex Heart Inst J     Publication Date:  1999  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-02-10     Completed Date:  2000-02-10     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8214622     Medline TA:  Tex Heart Inst J     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  258-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, The Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / physiology*
Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
Heart Conduction System / physiology*
Heart Function Tests
Oxygen / blood
Tachycardia, Ventricular / etiology
Ventricular Premature Complexes / etiology
Reg. No./Substance:

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