Article Text

Cardiac Arrhythmias at High Altitude
  1. Lt Col David Woods, RAMC, Consultant Physician,
  2. C Boos, Consultant Cardiologist2 and
  3. PR Roberts, Consultant Electrophysiologist and Cardiologist3
  1. 1Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Diabetes Northumbria and Newcastle NHS Trusts, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle, MDHU Northallerton
  2. 2Poole Hospital, RAMC
  3. 3Southampton University Hospital, Southampton, United Kingdom.
  1. Ward 31, Dept Medicine, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP 0191 2336161 0191 2563212 DoctorDRWoods{at}


Palpitations at high altitude have been experienced, but seldom recorded, for centuries. The hypoxia, sympathetic activation and alkalosis of altitude predispose to cardiac ischaemia and arrhythmia. Indeed, sudden cardiac death is responsible for 30% of all deaths during mountain sports at altitude. This article reviews the literature to date on the evidence for cardiac arrhythmias at altitude.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.