Altitude Sickness Prevalent Among Kilimanjaro Climbers

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Nearly half of all climbers attempting to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in 2010 had altitude sickness, a study from Edinburgh University shows.

The university's scientists camped out at 15,500 feet and tested 200 climbers on their bids for the summit, BBC News reports. Of those climbers, 47% showed symptoms of altitude sickness, including: nausea, headaches, trouble sleeping, and loss of coordination.

“We found that many climbers knew little or nothing about altitude sickness and did not have previous experience of being at high altitude,” Stewart Jackson, who conducted the study, told the BBC. “Undertaking an acclimatization trek before attempting to summit Mount Kilimanjaro offers climbers the best chance of a safe, successful summit.”

Those climbers who do not take the time to acclimatize and ascend too quickly, even with the use anti-altitude sickness drugs, risk serious injury or death, according to the report.

Check out the study here.

–Will Taylor

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