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Where the air gets thin, a familiar medication may help

Where the air gets thin, a familiar medication may help

Attention hikers, skiers, campers, mountain climbers and anyone aspiring to visit Denver or Tibet: A study published today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine finds that ibuprofen may help to prevent acute mountain sickness, also known as altitude illness or hypobaropathy.

The condition often occurs when people first find themselves at altitudes of roughly 8,000 feet or higher. Symptoms feel like a “really nasty hangover,” Grant Lipman, MD, told me. The Stanford Hospital & Clinics emergency medicine physician led the double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 86 men and women, who ascended 12,570 feet into an area of the White Mountains northeast of Bishop, Calif.

In my press release about the study, I discuss some of the findings:

Of the 44 participants who received ibuprofen, 19 (43 percent) suffered symptoms of altitude sickness, whereas 29 of the 42 participants (69 percent) receiving placebo had symptoms, according to the study. In other words, ibuprofen reduced the incidence of the illness by 26 percent.

Photo by bobwitlox

One Response to “ Where the air gets thin, a familiar medication may help ”

  1. Diana Says:

    I have had Medicare since about 1999/2000. Medicare pays 80% of what they consider is rlasonabee cost. Believe me that isn’t much. For example: Suppose I have a bill of $1000. Medicare determines that rlasonabee cost is $400; they pay 80% of that. And even though I have a private insurance which supplements Medicare, Medicare still sets the rlasonabee cost which means in my example that my private insurance will pay 20% of $400. Whoever performed the service (doctor, hospital, whoever) is out $600. When my doctor retired about five years ago I called four places which wouldn’t take me on as a patient because I have Medicare.Even though private insurance companies are in it for profit, because they charge much higher premiums than the government does for Medicare, they can afford to pay more out because of those higher premiums. It’s truly a case of you getting what you pay for.Because I don’t work, Medicare is primary and my Blue Cross/Blue Shield is secondary so Medicare sets the reimbursement rate. Secondary insurers REQUIRE that a person be entitled to Medicare if they are eligible to cut down on the costs of the secondary insurance.If I didn’t have Medicare and I wasn’t eligible for it, my Blue Cross/Blue Shield would be reimbursing my doctors and hospitals at a much higher rate than what Medicare does.Now why doesn’t everyone in the United States have Medicare? The insurance companies wouldn’t stand for it and the medical community would be backing them up. Our representatives and senators wouldn’t dare extend Medicare to all Americans!Frankly I think Medicare should be extended to everyone with increased premium rates and higher payments to providers of services and it could be administered through the private companies. But who am I?

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