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Altitude sickness: genetics may explain why only some fall ill

| | August 16, 2013

Some people who live at high altitudes suffer breathlessness, palpitations and dizziness, while others have no health problems, and now a new study reveals which genes may explain the difference.

The genetic changes, described August 15, 2013 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, allow people to take in enough oxygen from the thin mountain air without developing the heart attacks and strokes of chronic mountain sickness.

“We have ascertained there is a major genetic component that allows populations at high altitude to live better,” said study co-author Dr. Gabriel Haddad, a pediatric pulmonologist at the University of California at San Diego.

Read the full, original story here: Altitude Sickness: Genetics May Explain Why Only Some Fall Ill

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