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15 July 2015 : Clinical Research  

Effect of Intravenous Iron Supplementation on Acute Mountain Sickness: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Study

Xuewen RenCE, Qiuying ZhangB, Hao WangCE, Chunyan ManB, Heng HongD, Li ChenF, Tanshi LiCG, Ping YeAC

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.891182

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:2050-2057

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the role of intravenous iron supplementation in the prevention of AMS.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. Forty-one (n=41) healthy Chinese low-altitude inhabitants living in Beijing, China (altitude of about 50 meters) were randomly assigned into intravenous iron supplementation (ISS group; n=21) and placebo (CON group; n=20) groups. Participants in the ISS group received iron sucrose supplement (200 mg) before flying to Lhasa, China (altitude of 4300 meters). Acute mountain sickness (AMS) severity was assessed with the Lake Louise scoring (LLS) system within 5 days after landing on the plateau (at high altitude). Routine check-ups, clinical biochemistry, and blood tests were performed before departure and 24 h after arrival.

RESULTS: A total of 38 participants completed the study (ISS group: n=19; CON group: n=19). The rate of subjects with AMS (LLS>3) was lower in the ISS group compared with the CON group, but no significant differences were obtained (P>0.05). There were no differences in patients’ baseline characteristics. The physiological indices were similar in both groups except for serum iron concentrations (19.44±10.02 vs. 85.10±26.78 μmol/L) and transferrin saturation rates (28.20±12.14 vs. 68.34±33.12%), which were significantly higher in the ISS group (P<0.05). Finally, heart rate was identified as a contributing factor of LLS.

CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings suggest that intravenous iron supplementation has no significant protective effect on AMS in healthy Chinese low-altitude inhabitants.

Keywords: Altitude Sickness - prevention & control, Dietary Supplements, Double-Blind Method, Ferric Compounds - administration & dosage, Glucaric Acid - administration & dosage, Heart Rate - drug effects, Injections, Intravenous, Prospective Studies

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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416
Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416