Jun 082011
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 According to U.S. researchers, people dwelling at higher altitudes – where oxygen levels are lower – are less likely to die of heart attack and tend to have a longer life.

However, the University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers also found that altitudes greater than 4,900 ft had a negative impact on people with COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Even slightly lower levels of oxygen in people already suffering from impaired breathing & gas exchange could exacerbate hypoxia & pulmonary hypertension (resulting in death).

If living in an environment with lower oxygen levels such as the Colorado mountains could help cut down a person’s chances of dying from heart disease, it may help researchers come up with new clinical treatments to address such conditions.

Lower oxygen levels trigger certain genes which possibly change the way a person’s heart muscles function. They may also generate new blood vessels that produce new highways for the blood flow into the heart.

Besides, greater solar radiation at high altitudes helps a person’s body to synthesize vitamin D better. The beneficial effects of Vitamin D on the heart & certain kinds of cancer are widely recognized.

Shil Mitra

Shil is a freelance writer, professional blogger and a social media enthusiast.

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