The study aimed at exploring the mechanisms behind blood pressure and heart rate changes upon acute altitude exposure utilizing urinary excretion of biochemical factors involved in cardiovascular regulation. The study was conducted on 12 lowlander native male mountain climbers, living at sea level, exposed to altitudes ranging from 1800 to 5147 m above sea level over 4 days, during their ascent to Mount Ararat (Turkey). Blood pressure (measured by oscillometric method), heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) were recorded at rest (on awakening before food intake), in hypoxic conditions at 4200 m and at sea level before and after the altitude expedition. In the same study conditions (ie before-during-after the expedition), first-voided urinary samples were collected and assayed for 8-iso-prostaglandin F2α (8-iso-PGF2α) and asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) determination. Heart rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were higher (P <.05) at high altitude than at the sea level. Furthermore, both urinary 8-iso-PGF2α and ADMA were significantly elevated (P <.01) at high altitude and returned to normal levels soon after returning to sea level. A 4-day exposure to high-altitude hypoxia induced a temporary increase in blood pressure and heart rate, confirming previous findings. Blood pressure increase at high altitude was associated with significantly enhanced production of biochemical mediators such as 8-iso-PGF2α, catecholamines, and ADMA, although we could not demonstrate a direct link between these parallel significant changes probably due to the forcefully limited sample size of our study, carried out in challenging environmental conditions at very high altitude.
- blood pressure
- sympathetic nervous system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine