Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy
University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
Centro Cardiologico Monzino, Milan, Italy
University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Dept. de Kinesiología, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile
Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
The HIGH altitude CArdiovascular REsearch in 2010 took place on the Italian Alps (HIGHCARE – ALPS 2010). On this occasion, our aim was primarily to further investigate the gender differences in the adaptation to high altitude hypoxia, and to explore the mechanisms of action of acetazolamide underlying its efficacy in preventing acute mountain sickness.
Sex hormones are thought to play a relevant role in the pathogenesis of several cardiovascular and respiratory conditions (e.g. the cardiovascular consequences of hormonal derangement after menopause, and the gender differences in the prevalence of sleep disordered breathing in the general population). Hypoxia elicits significant cardiovascular and respiratory responses, and data are available supporting the hypothesis that males and females adapt differently to high altitude, even if this issue has not been fully explored, and its mechanisms are still largely unknown. In this context our previous observations that males are clearly more affected by periodic breathing during sleep at high altitude seem of special interest.