PMCH Seminar Series

Mar 29, 2011

“Traveling to High Altitude Destinations in South America: A survey on pre-travel preparation and acute mountain sickness in Cusco-Peru (3,310 m)”

Presented by:

Miguel M. Cabada, M.D.

Graduate Student, Clinical Science Program

Thursday, April 14

12:00 PM

1.104 Ewing Hall

Abstract: The epidemiology of acute mountain sickness among regular tourists visiting high altitude destinations in South America is largely unknown. Preliminary data suggest that travelers to Cusco-Peru (3,310 m) are poorly prepared to avoid acute mountain sickness. A survey was design to study the epidemiology, pre-travel preparation, and impact of acute mountain sickness in travelers visiting Cusco. Foreign travelers, ≥ 18 years of age that stayed in Cusco ≤15 days were invited to participate. A convenience sample of 991 departing travelers was obtained at Cusco’s International Airport during June 2010. The Lake Louise Consensus score were used to assess the prevalence of acute mountain sickness and its severity. The median age of the participants was 32 years (IQR 25 – 49), 55.5% were female, 86.5% had higher education, 86.7% were traveling for tourism, and the main countries of origin were United States (47.7%) and England (8.1%). Most travelers (76.8%) flew from sea level to Cusco and 30.7% visited high altitude in the previous 2 months. Twenty nine percent received professional pre-travel advice about acute mountain sickness, 19% recalled receiving advice on acetazolamide use, and 16.4% used it. Frequent preventive measures were using coca leaf products (62.3%) and limiting physical activity (39.1%). Acute mountain sickness was reported by 47% of the participants and 16% reported severe disease. Twenty percent of travelers with acute mountain sickness altered their travel plans. In the multivariate analysis those older than 60 years, visiting high altitude in the recent past, visiting lower altitude cities during the same trip and using acetazolamide prophylaxis were less likely to have acute mountain sickness. Those using coca leaf products for prophylaxis and limiting their physical activity were more likely to have acute mountain sickness. This condition was common among the participants and had a significant impact on travel plans. Pre-travel preparation and healthcare seeking behavior were alarmingly inadequate. While acetazolamide prophylaxis was largely underutilized, coca leaf products were widely accepted but users were more likely to have acute mountain sickness.

Congratulations to the 20th Annual Forum on Aging Poster Session winners!!

Student Poster Award Winners
Neuroscience – Kara Barber & Claudia Marino
Basic Science – Danelo Cortez
Rehabilitation – Kay Kulkarni
Health Disparities – Jaqueline Contrera Avila & Mary Margaret King
Medical Effectiveness – Keli Perino
Clinical Trials & Implementation – Leyla Akhverdiyeva

Congratulations to the 20th Annual Forum on Aging Poster Session winners!!





To view all the photos from the event, click here:

Congratulations Naiomi Jamal!!

Jamal, Naiomi

Please join me in congratulating Naiomi Jamal on her 2016 President's Cabinet Award! She received this for her program focused on Parent Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention. This is a very prestigious award - Congratulations Naiomi!

Congratulations LJ Panas on your new job at Kansas Health Institute!!


Lawrence John Panas, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, joined KHI in 2016 after earning a doctorate degree in population health sciences and a master's degree in public Health from UTMB. His work at UTMB focused on community health improvement and also on public health systems and services. Prior to joining KHI, he was a graduate/research assistant at the UTMB. During that time, Lawrence was also involved in a wide range of work related to issues such as aging, disability, mortality, minority health and health disparities.

Congratulations to Zakkoyya Lewis on your new job at Beachbody, LLC.


Zakkoyya (Koyya) Lewis accepted a position at Beachbody, LLC as their Fitness Research Manager in their Fitness and Nutrition Results department. This position is the first of its kind. As the Fitness Research Manager, Koyya is responsible for standardizing the measurement protocols for test groups on new products sponsored by Beachbody. She is responsible for the collection and evaluation of all test group data. It is also her responsibility to ensure that claims on new fitness programs meet scientific standards. In addition to running test groups, Koyya works directly with UTMB alum Erin Glynn, PhD and Research & Development as well as Digital Productions. She works as a liaison between departments to identify ways to improve programs and motivate customers.  

Congratulations Dr. Arcari and Dr. Rudkin!! 

Christine M. Arcari, PhD, MPH

Rudkin, Laura

Please join me in congratulating SOM Year 2 student Lynda Chowdhury and Drs. Arcari and Rudkin on their 2016 President's Cabinet Award! They received this for their application titled Health Fair Kits To Go: Turning Service into Service Learning. This is another very prestigious award for our department - Congratulations Lynda, Dr. Arcari, and Dr. Rudkin!

Please join us in wishing Joseph Saenz, PhD a farewell as he embarks on a new adventure.


 Joseph Saenz Farwell Party_USC

 Joseph Saenz obtained his PhD and is going to be a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Southern California, Davis School of Gerontology, working with Dr. Eileen Crimmins and colleagues.

During his PhD stay at UTMB Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, and SCOA, he published several papers on aging among U.S. Hispanics and Mexicans. He consistently made presentations in local, national, and international professional meetings and conferences, winning several honors and awards.

At SCOA, he also coordinated the MHAS research work group.

We will miss him for his great scholarship, extraordinary citizenship, and personal disposition!

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