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Is Travel to High Altitudes More Risky for People with Diabetes?
New Rochelle, NY, September 30, 2013—Many factors can affect blood sugar control at high altitudes, and people considering a mountain journey need to understand the potential risks of the environmental extremes, extensive exercise, and dietary changes they may experience. Insulin needs may increase or decrease and individuals with poorly controlled diabetes are especially at risk for hypothermia, frostbite, and dehydration, for example. These and other dangers are described by two doctors who have diabetes and are avid mountaineers in an article published in High Altitude Medicine & Biology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the High Altitude Medicine & Biology website.
Paul Richards, Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environmental Medicine, University College (London, U.K.) and David Hillebrandt, President, International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation Medical Commission (Bern, Switzerland), discuss the harmful effects that altitude, temperature extremes, reduced oxygen levels, and physical exertion may have on people with diabetes when they travel to destinations at high altitude for business or pleasure.
In the article “The Practical Aspects of Insulin at High Altitude” the authors explore issues related to diabetes management, such as the risk that insulin may become less effective when exposed to heat or cold and how to store it properly. They also caution that blood glucose measuring devices may be less accurate at high altitude. “With the rising prevalence of diabetes, its management is increasingly becoming an issue at high altitude,” says John B. West, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of High Altitude Medicine & Biology and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. “This statement by two experts in the field is a valuable contribution in a difficult area.”
About the Journal
High Altitude Medicine & Biology, the official journal of the International Society for Mountain Medicine, is published quarterly online with Open Access options. It is the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated exclusively to the latest advances in high altitude life sciences. The Journal presents findings on the effects of chronic hypoxia on lung and heart disease, pulmonary and cerebral edema, hypertension, dehydration, infertility, appetite and weight loss, and other diseases. Complete tables of content and sample issue may be viewed on the High Altitude Medicine & Biology website.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery and Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s over 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.