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There is a significant collection of literature on acute mountain sickness (AMS) in foreign trekkers to Nepal. However, reports on altitude sickness among native Nepalis besides Sherpas is almost non-existent. This is a preliminary study sponsored by the Himalayan Rescue Association of AMS among pilgrims to a holy lake (Gosaikunda) at 4154 m in Nepal. The study was done using a standard AMS questionnaire form. It revealed that out of 5163 pilgrims who came to the lake, 229 (4.4%) developed AMS. The severity of the illness correlated with the rapidity of ascent, but there was no difference in severity between men and women. Five pilgrims who were ataxic were put in the hyperbaric bag. Subjective improvement was noted in all five cases. This study of AMS among non-Sherpa pilgrims suggests that various Nepali ethnic groups may be just as vulnerable to AMS as are tourists. © 1993, Wilderness Medical Society. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Wilderness Medicine

Publication Date





286 - 292