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Porters have accompanied trekkers and climbers to high altitude since the earliest expeditions in the Himalayas. As the existing body of knowledge on high-altitude medicine expands, the focus remains on trekkers or climbers. And published literature on medical problems in the large porter population remains sparse. It is well known that porters working at high altitude in the Nepal Himalayas are often lowland dwellers and are as prone to high-altitude illnesses such as acute mountain sickness, high-altitude pulmonary edema, and high-altitude cerebral edema as the trekkers are. Other illnesses such as diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, and infections also occur in this population. In this review, studies reporting these findings will be discussed along with the local context of socioeconomic barriers to adequate health care for these porters.

Original publication




Journal article


High Alt Med Biol

Publication Date





109 - 113


Himalayan porters, Nepalese, high-altitude medicine, Altitude, Altitude Sickness, Brain Edema, Expeditions, Humans, Mountaineering, Nepal