Accession Number : ADA619169


Title :   Syndrome of Acute Anxiety Among Marines After Recent Arrival at High Altitude


Descriptive Note : Journal article


Corporate Author : NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA


Personal Author(s) : Sracic, Michael K ; Thomas, Darren ; Pate, Allen ; Norris, Jacob ; Norman, Marc ; Gertsch, Jeffrey H


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a619169.pdf


Report Date : May 2014


Pagination or Media Count : 9


Abstract : Management of mental health is critical for maintenance of readiness in austere military environments. Emerging evidence implicates hypoxia as an environmental trigger of anxiety spectrum symptomatology. Unacclimatized infantry Marines (1,036) ascended from sea level to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (2061-3383 m) for a 30-day exercise. Within the first 6 days of training, 7 servicemen presented with severe, acute anxiety/panic with typical accompanying signs of sympathetic activation and no classic symptoms of acute mountain sickness (including headache). Four had a history of well-controlled psychiatric diagnoses. Invariably, cardiopulmonary and neurological evaluations were unrevealing, and acute cardiopulmonary events were excluded within limits of expeditionary diagnostic capabilities. All patients responded clinically to oxygen, rest, and benzodiazepines, returning to baseline function the same day. The unexpected onset of 7 cases of acute anxiety symptomatology coincident with recent arrival at moderate to high altitudes represents a highly unusual incidence and temporal distribution, suggestive of hypobaric hypoxemia as the proximal cause. We propose acute hypoxic physiological anxiety (AHPA) as a unique member of the spectrum of altitudeassociated neurological disorders. Recognition of AHPA is particularly relevant in a military population; warfighters with anxiety spectrum diagnoses may have a recognizable and possibly preventable vulnerability.


Descriptors :   *ALTITUDE SICKNESS , *ANXIETY , *HIGH ALTITUDE , *MARINE CORPS PERSONNEL , *MILITARY MEDICINE , BEHAVIOR , CASE STUDIES , DIAGNOSIS(MEDICINE) , EXPOSURE(PHYSIOLOGY) , HYPOBARIC CONDITIONS , HYPOXIA , IN VIVO ANALYSIS , INGESTION(PHYSIOLOGY) , LUNG , MENTAL HEALTH , MILITARY TRAINING , NEUROLOGY , SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS , STRESS(PSYCHOLOGY) , VULNERABILITY


Subject Categories : Psychology
      Medicine and Medical Research
      Stress Physiology
      Military Forces and Organizations


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE