Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Hüfner, Katharina, Fabio Caramazza, Evelyn R. Pircher Nöckler, Agnieszka E. Stawinoga, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Sanjeeb S. Bhandari, Buddha Basnyat, Monika Brodmann Maeder, Giacomo Strapazzon, Iztok Tomazin, Ken Zafren, Hermann Brugger, and Barbara Sperner-Unterweger. Association of pre-existing mental health conditions with acute mountain sickness at Everest Base Camp. High Alt Med Biol. xx:xxx-xxx, 2022. Background: Mental health disorders are common, but limited data are available regarding the number of people with a past medical history of psychiatric diagnoses going to high altitude (HA). It is also unknown whether mental health conditions are associated with an increased risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS). Methods: We analyzed data from a previous study at Everest Base Camp. Participants self-reported their past medical history and history of substance use and had a brief history taken by a physician. AMS was assessed using the self-reported 2018 Lake Louise AMS Score. Results: Eighty-five participants (66 men and 19 women, age 38 ± 9 years) were included. When questioned by a physician, 28 participants reported prior diagnoses or symptoms compatible with depression (23%), anxiety disorder (6%), post-traumatic stress disorder (1%), and psychosis/psychotic experiences (9%). The prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses in the past medical history was much lower in the self-reported data (2/85) compared to data obtained via physician assessment (28/85). Increased risks of AMS were associated with a past medical history of anxiety disorder (odds ratio [OR] 22.7; confidence interval [95% CI] 2.3-220.6; p 

Original publication




Journal article


High Alt Med Biol

Publication Date



acute mountain sickness, anxiety, depression, mental health, psychiatric disorder