High altitude headache. A prospective study of its clinical characteristics

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35 Citas (Scopus)


Altitude headache (AH) is the most common symptom of high altitude exposure. This prospective cross-sectional and analytical study, conducted in the Ecuadorian Andes, aimed to explore AH symptomatology, taking into account subjects' views. Thirty mountain climbers took part in the Questionnaire Elaboration. The symptoms were grouped into three categories: (A) pain dimension (PD) - intensity, location, quality, outset form, evolution, exacerbating and relieving elements; (B) concurrent symptom dimension (CSD); and (C) feeling/mood dimension (FMD). Ninety-eight mountain climbers comprised the sample for Field Research. Three evaluations were carried out: 4700-5000 m, n = 1, and 5700-5800 m, n = 2. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to assess internal consistency. Scores between 0.7 and 1 were considered as significant to assess the strength of association between the PD and its different items and CSD and FMD. The following clinical features were found: holocranial 65.6%; pulsatile-burst type quality 75.3%; oscillating evolution 36.7%; increasing with exercise 49.5%; relieved by rest 41.8%; concurrent symptoms referred to, anorexia 26.8%, irritability 26.5%, and finally pessimism and anxiety feelings 33.2 and 29.5%, respectively. We believe that elements provided by us must lead to a new official AH diagnosis criterion.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1110-1116
Número de páginas7
EstadoPublicada - dic. 2005


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