Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Integrative Physiology

First Advisor

Matthew McQueen

Second Advisor

David Sherwood

Third Advisor

William Byrnes

Fourth Advisor

Don Wilkerson

Fifth Advisor

Teresa Foley


Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and its related illnesses, high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), affect many residents of lower elevations that travel to high altitude for pleasure or profession. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the potential relationship between sex and incidence of AMS, hypothesizing that females will have a lesser incidence due to the respiratory stimulant effects of female sex hormone progesterone. Odds ratios were compiled into a forest plot and a summary estimate was calculated. Contrary to the hypothesis, females were found to be 1.48 times more likely to experience AMS symptoms compared to males (p<0.0001). It is concluded that there is an association between sex, specifically female sex, and incidence of AMS. Further research is suggested in assessing the relationship between sex and severity of AMS, as well as the relationship between female and male sex hormones and AMS, while taking into consideration specific hormone levels for each subject.