altitude


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Related to altitude: altitude sickness

altitude

[al′tito̅o̅d]
Etymology: L, altitudo, height
the level of elevation of any location on earth with reference to a fixed surface point, which is usually sea level. Several types of health effects are associated with altitude extremes, including a greater intensity of ultraviolet radiation that results from a thinner atmosphere. Barometric pressure decreases as altitude increases, so there are fewer molecules of oxygen. Thus breathing becomes faster & deeper, although demands of physical effort and cellular respiration are the same as at a lower altitude. High-altitude cardiac intolerance is usually worse in people with blood or pulmonary disorders. See also altitude sickness.
Altitude: relation between decreasing barometric pressure and PO2 and levels for athletic training. Broken arrow: altitude sickness possible in the unacclimatized.

altitude

the height above sea level. As atmospheric (barometric) pressure decreases progressively with increasing altitude, from the standard 1 atmosphere at sea level, the partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) decreases proportionately; the air still contains the same ∼21% of oxygen but there are fewer molecules of oxygen per unit volume. There is also a drop in temperature and humidity, but the essential problem for human life and activity is shortage of oxygen (hypoxia).

altitude,

n pertaining to any location on earth with reference to a fixed surface point, which is usually sea level. The higher the altitude, the lower the oxygen concentration and the greater the ultraviolet radiation, both of which can cause health problems.
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