Clinical Implications for Exercise at Altitude Among Individuals With Cardiovascular Disease

Published: September 09, 2021

Hikers walking in the mountain.
  • More than 100 million individuals travel to high altitude environments each year, many of whom are at risk of, or already have, established cardiovascular disease.
  • Activities undertaken in high altitude environments (e.g. skiing, hiking, bicycling, climbing) impose additional stressors above and beyond exercise at sea-level, and may place patients at an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events in remote environments.
  • This statement will summarize appropriate management strategies of individuals traveling to mountainous regions. Considerations for control of blood pressure, arrhythmias, and ischemic heart disease, as well as methods for prevention of major adverse events such as sudden cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and heart failure exacerbations are reviewed.