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BACKGROUND: Acute mountain sickness (AMS), High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) are well known problems in the high altitude region of the Nepal Himalayas. To assess the proportion of AMS, HAPE, and HACE from 1983 to 1995 in the Himalaya Rescue Association (HRA) aid posts' patients at the Everest (Pheriche 4,243 m) and Annapurna (Manang 3,499 m) regions, the two most popular trekking areas in the Himalayas. A retrospective study was conducted at the HRA medical aid posts in Manang (3,499 m) and Pheriche (4,243 m) in the Himalayas, where 4,655 trekkers (tourists, mostly Caucasians) and 4,792 Nepalis (mostly porters and villagers) were seen at the two high-altitude clinics from 1983 to 1995, for a variety of medical problems, including AMS. METHODS: The number of trekking permits issued for entering the two most popular regions in the Himalayas was calculated and referenced to the proportion of trekkers with medical conditions. Well established guidelines like the Lake Louise Diagnostic Criteria were used in the assessment of AMS, HAPE and HACE. Linear regression analyses were performed on data collected from the two aid posts to determine the effect of time on each variable. For comparison between the aid posts, angular transformation (arcsine) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were performed on all proportional (incidence) data. RESULTS: Approximately 20% of all visitors (Nepali plus trekkers) who visited the higher Pheriche aid post were diagnosed with AMS compared to around 6% at the lower Manang aid post. There was a linear increase over time in the number of trekkers entering the Everest (r=0.904, p

Original publication




Journal article


J Travel Med

Publication Date





217 - 222


Altitude Sickness, Brain Edema, Humans, Incidence, Mountaineering, Nepal, Pulmonary Edema, Regression Analysis, Retrospective Studies