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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1998 Dec;69(12):1186-92.

Assessment of acute mountain sickness by different score protocols in the Swiss Alps.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.



Purpose of the present study was to evaluate the Lake Louise acute mountain sickness (AMS) score questionnaire at different altitudes and to compare it with the currently used clinical score and the environmental symptoms questionnaire AMS-C score.


We investigated 490 climbers who stayed over night at 4 huts in the Swiss Alps, located at the altitudes of 2850 m, 3050 m, 3650 m, and 4559 m. AMS was assessed using our previously described clinical score, the Lake Louise consensus AMS score questionnaire and the environmental symptoms questionnaire III.


Below 4000 m, the prevalence of AMS, defined by symptoms that force a reduction in activity, was 7%; when assessed with the clinical score (score > or = 3) it was 22%; with the AMS-C score (score > or = 0.7) 4% and with the Lake Louise score (score > 4) 8%. At the altitude of 4559 m, the prevalence of AMS was 30%, 38%, 40%, and 39%, respectively. The standardized regression coefficients from multiple regression analysis (adjusted R2 0.65, p < 0.001) were 0.45 (p < 0.001) for the self-reported Lake Louise score, 0.48 (p < 0.001) for the sum of the points assigned in the clinical section of the Lake Louise questionnaire, and 0.05 (p = 0.27) for the AMS-C score. The sensitivity and specificity of the Lake Louise score > 4 was 78% and 93%, respectively.


The Lake Louise consensus score is adequate and, compared with the AMS-C score, more effective for the assessment of acute altitude illness at different altitudes.

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