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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 131--132

High altitude and nail growth

Department of Dermatology and STD, Command Hospital (SC), Pune-411 040, India

Correspondence Address:
M PS Sawhney
Department of Dermatology and STD, Command Hospital (SC), Pune-411 040
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17656907

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Linear nail growth studies were carried out in 22 highlanders Ladakhi (3445m) and 6 lowlander male troops, in 4 during their fresh induction into high altitude (3445m) and in 2 during their stay in plains while on leave from high altitude. The average age of highlander Ladakhis was 21.82 years (range 16-36 years) and lowlanders was 34 years (range 29 - 40 years). There was significant decrease in nail growth in age matched (average age 34.25) highlander Ladakhis (93.11 /day, SD 7.24, P< 0.05) and in freshly inducted lowlanders (88.71/ day, SD 10.7, P<0.05) in contrast to average nail growth in plains (1191/day, SD 1.41) Although the average nail growth in highlander Ladakhis (99.34/day, SD 13.91) was more than the low landers inducted into high altitude (88.7s /day, SD 1 o.7) the difference was not found statistically significant (P> 0.05). However it does suggest some degree of acclimatization in highlanders. Hypoxic conditions and extreme cold conditions both appear to be factors responsible for decreased nail growth in high altitude areas.

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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow