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July 21, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(3):215-216. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650030039017

The study of the physiology of altitude has unquestionably received a great impetus from progress in ballooning and aviation. Only a few years ago it was primarily the mountain climber and the resident of mountainous regions who awakened an interest in the changes of bodily functions associated with lowered barometric pressure. It gradually became apparent that man's ability to grapple with altitude in something more than an amateurish fashion depended on learning with precision what his handicaps are in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The menace of mountain sickness long remained a puzzle. When its analogue in the form of mal des aviateurs—aviator's sickness—came into notice, the need of physiologic knowledge was emphasized more than ever. The conquest of the highest peak of the Himalayas or an ascent of more than five miles upward in an aeroplane are to be rated as physiologic achievements quite as much as physical