Excessive erythrocytosis, chronic mountain sickness, and serum cobalt levels

J. Ashley Jefferson, Elizabeth Escudero, Maria Elena Hurtado, Jacqueline Pando, Rosario Tapia, Erik R. Swenson, Josef Prchal, George F. Schreiner, Robert B. Schoene, Abdias Hurtado, Richard J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


In a subset of high-altitude dwellers, the appropriate erythrocytotic response becomes excessive and can result in chronic mountain sickness. We studied men with (study group) and without excessive erythrocytosis (packed-cell volume >65%) living in Cerro de Pasco, Peru (altitude 4300 m), and compared them with controls living in Lima, Peru (at sea-level). Toxic serum cobalt concentrations were detected in 11 of 21 (52%) study participants with excessive erythrocytosis, but were undetectable in high altitude or sea-level controls. In the mining community of Cerro de Pasco, cobalt toxicity might be an important contributor to excessive erythrocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-408
Number of pages2
Issue number9304
StatePublished - Feb 2 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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