3 years ago

Association between acute mountain sickness (AMS) and age: a meta-analysis

Yong-Jun Luo, Yu Wu, Yu Chen, Chi Zhang



Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a potentially lethal condition caused by acute hypoxia after ascending to altitudes higher than 2500 m in a short time. The main symptom of AMS is headache. Numerous risk factors of AMS have been examined, including gender, obesity, ascent rate, age and individual susceptibility. In previous studies, age was considered a predisposing factor for AMS. However, different opinions have been raised in recent years. To clarify the association between AMS and age, we conducted this meta-analysis.


We obtained observational studies that explored risk factors for AMS by searching PubMed, Embase, China National Knowledge Internet (CNKI), the Wanfang database and CQVIP for articles published before March 2017. The studies included were required to provide the mean age and its standard deviation for subjects with and without AMS, the maximum altitude attained and the mode of ascent. The Lake Louse Score (LLS) or the Chinese AMS score (CAS) was used to judge the severity of AMS symptoms and incidence. Studies were pooled for the analysis by using a random effects model in RevMan 5.0. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were conducted to identify sources of heterogeneity using Stata 14.2 and RevMan 5.0.


In total, 17 studies were included, and the overall number of subjects with and without AMS was 1810 and 3014, respectively. The age ranged from 10 to 76 years. Analysis of the 17 included studies showed that age was not associated with AMS (mean difference (MD) = 0.10; 95% CI: -0.38-0.58; P = 0.69).


This meta-analysis suggests that there is no association between age and the risk of AMS. Race, age, and ascent mode are common sources of heterogeneity, which may provide an analytical orientation for future heterogeneity analyses.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40779-018-0161-x

DOI: 10.1186/s40779-018-0161-x

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