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Effects of Altitude on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients: Risks and Care

Abstract : Air travel and altitude stays have become increasingly frequent within the overall population but also in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is the most common respiratory disease worldwide. While altitude is well tolerated by most individuals, COPD patients are exposed to some serious complications, that could be life-threatening. COPD patients present not only a respiratory illness but also frequent comorbidities. Beyond oxygen desaturation, it also affects respiratory mechanics, and those patients are at high risk to decompensate a cardiac condition, pulmonary hypertension, or a sleep disorder. Recently, there has been considerable progress in the management of this disease. Nocturnal oxygen therapy, inhaled medications, corticosteroids, inspiratory muscle training, and pulmonary rehabilitation are practical tools that must be developed in the comprehensive care of those patients so as to enable them to afford altitude stays.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03339087
Contributor : Arnaud Eyraud <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 12:00:26 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 10, 2021 - 3:35:19 AM

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Thomas Georges, Camille Le Blanc, Sophie Ferreol, Pierre Menu, Marc Dauty, et al.. Effects of Altitude on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients: Risks and Care. Life, MDPI, 2021, 11 (8), pp.798. ⟨10.3390/life11080798⟩. ⟨inserm-03339087⟩

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