Why heart function is reduced at high altitude decoded

LONDON: Scientists have found why high altitudes reduces the amount of blood the heart pumps around the body with each beat.

The research, published in The Journal of Physiology, will be important for people who live, travel and exercise at high altitudes, scientists said.

Over the years, several theories have been proposed to explain the reduction in the amount of blood the heart can pump; this was even of interest to the scientists involved in the first summit of Mount Everest in the 1950’s.

Researchers including those from the Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK and University of British Columbia in Canada showed that at high altitudes (over 3000 metres), the lower amount of oxygen in the air leads to a decrease in the volume of blood circulating around the body, and an increase in blood pressure in the lungs.

They found that both of these factors play a role in the reduction in the volume of blood the heart can pump with each beat, but importantly neither of these…

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