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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1987 Apr;58(4):328-32.

Some effects of alcohol and simulated altitude on complex performance scores and breathalyzer readings.


Each of 17 men was trained on 7 tasks in the Multiple Task Performance Battery and then performed over a 2-week period in four experimental sessions: ground level with and without alcohol, and simulated altitude (12,500 ft), with and without alcohol. Subjects breathed appropriate gas mixtures through oxygen masks at both ground level and altitude. Alcohol doses of 100-proof vodka mixed with juice 2.2 ml X kg-1 of body weight. Results showed no differential effect of simulated altitude on breathalyzer readings (peaks averaged 78 mg % at 12,500 ft and 77 mg % at ground level). The best performance occurred at ground level under placebo conditions; the 12,500-ft simulated altitude produced some decrement for placebo scores. Alcohol at ground level resulted in significantly impaired performance during the morning sessions; the addition of altitude to the alcohol condition further depressed performance scores, but to about the same extent that placebo scores were depressed by altitude. Thus, there was no synergistic interactive effect of alcohol and altitude on either breathalyzer readings or performance scores.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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