This study aimed to explore the relationship between genetic changes and high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) susceptibility, and to screen for the key single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci in the HAPE-susceptibility gene, by investigating the SNPs occurring in hypoxia-related genes in HAPE-susceptible and control (non-susceptible) populations. This research was conducted on Han recruits, who travelled to the Lhasa plateau (altitude, 3658 m).
High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is a life-threatening condition caused by acute exposure to high altitude. Accumulating evidence suggests that genetic factors play an important role in the etiology of HAPE. However, conclusions from association studies have been hindered by limited sample size due to the rareness of this disease. It is known that mitochondria are critical for hypoxic adaptation, and mitochondrial malfunction can be an important factor in HAPE development.