Savla, Jainy J., Benjamin D. Levine, and Hesham A. Sadek. The effect of hypoxia on cardiovascular disease: Friend or foe? High Alt Med Biol. 19:124-130, 2018. - Over 140 million people reside at altitudes exceeding 2500 m across the world, resulting in exposure to atmospheric (hypobaric) hypoxia. Whether this chronic exposure is beneficial or detrimental to the cardiovascular system, however, is uncertain. On one hand, multiple studies have suggested a protective effect of living at moderate and high altitudes for cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. Conversely, residence at high altitude comes at the tradeoff of developing diseases such as chronic mountain sickness and high-altitude pulmonary hypertension and worsens outcomes for diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Interestingly, recently published data show a potential role for severe hypoxia as a unique and unexpected therapy after myocardial infarction. In this review, we will discuss the current literature evaluating the effects of altitude exposure and the accompanying hypoxia on health and the potential therapeutic applications of hypoxia on CVD.
- cardiovascular disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health