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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Dec 24;99(26):17215-8. Epub 2002 Dec 5.

An Ethiopian pattern of human adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia.

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  • 1Department of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA. cmb2@po.cwru.edu

Abstract

We describe, in Ethiopia, a third successful pattern of human adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia that contrasts with both the Andean "classic" (erythrocytosis with arterial hypoxemia) and the more recently identified Tibetan (normal venous hemoglobin concentration with arterial hypoxemia) patterns. A field survey of 236 Ethiopian native residents at 3,530 m (11,650 feet), 14-86 years of age, without evidence of iron deficiency, hemoglobinopathy, or chronic inflammation, found an average hemoglobin concentration of 15.9 and 15.0 gdl for males and females, respectively, and an average oxygen saturation of hemoglobin of 95.3%. Thus, Ethiopian highlanders maintain venous hemoglobin concentrations and arterial oxygen saturation within the ranges of sea level populations, despite the unavoidable, universal decrease in the ambient oxygen tension at high altitude.

PMID:
12471159
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC139295
Free PMC Article

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