Burtscher M 2016 Abstract MitoFit Science Camp 2016

From Bioblast
Living and exercising at moderate altitudes: health risk or benefit?


Burtscher M (2016)

Event: MitoFit Science Camp 2016 Kuehtai AT

Worldwide, approximately 400 million people are permanently residing at elevations above 1,500 m and more than 100 million tourists visit altitudes up to and higher than 2,500 m annually. Environmental factors, i.e. changing climate conditions with increasing altitude, and life-style factors like diet and physical activity, may have an inherent potential to modify mortality and life expectancy. Available data suggest lower mortality from cardiovascular diseases, stroke, dementia, and certain types of cancer in residents of moderate altitudes [1]. From these data it may also be argued that moderate altitudes, e.g. up to 2,500 m, are more protective than high or even very high altitudes. With regard to mountain tourists, acute exercise at altitude may on the one hand trigger cardiorespiratory adverse events but may on the other hand evoke beneficial effects from hypoxia preconditioning. Such effects result from a single or several short exposures (2 – 10 min) to hypoxia occurring immediately, persisting for a few hours, or delayed after a vulnerable phase of about 24 h, and then persisting for several days. Actually, our data on sudden cardiac deaths in male downhill skiers revealed an episode of early protection for about three hours and a subsequent vulnerable episode during the first skiing day at moderate altitude [2]. Expanding these findings and better understanding of underlying mechanisms would help to optimize the ratio between the health risks and benefits of living and exercising at moderate altitudes.

β€’ O2k-Network Lab: AT Innsbruck Burtscher M

Labels: MiParea: Comparative MiP;environmental MiP, Exercise physiology;nutrition;life style 

Stress:Oxidative stress;RONS 

Event: D2  MitoFit Science Camp 2016 


Univ Innsbruck, Austria. - [email protected]


  1. Burtscher M (2013) Effects of living at higher altitudes on mortality: a narrative review. Aging Dis 5:274-80.
  2. Burtscher M (2014) Downhill skiing: a putative model of hypoxia preconditioning? J Clin Exp Cardiology 5:347.
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