Question: My husband has recurrent atrial fibrillation, we live in a town 1,500 m above sea level, but every time we go down he gets sick, can it be the change in altitude? Maria (Valencia)
Answer: Altitude changes can influence certain pathological processes of the cardiovascular system. The higher the altitude, the lower the oxygen concentration and therefore the less resistance to physical exercise. Excessive altitude can cause cardiac decompensation and induce some arrhythmias. On the contrary, at sea level the oxygen concentrations in the air we breathe is higher and therefore more convenient for a good general operation. Without knowing the causes well, there are people who, like her husband, have a paradoxical reaction to sudden changes in altitude, feeling worse at sea level than at average altitude of 1,500 meters.