From Fox 13 in Salt Lake City:
Research shows high altitude increases depression and suicide, especially for women
POSTED 6:34 PM, APRIL 1, 2019, BY ADAM HERBETS,
SALT LAKE CITY – Researchers at the University of Utah believe people who live at higher altitudes can become more depressed than people who live closer to sea level. The effect, they say, is especially noticeable in women.
Dr. Shami Kanekar … has studied the negative effects of altitude for years. Her research has shown that men and women don’t feel the effects of typical antidepressants at higher elevations.
Experiments also seem to indicate that women go through a chemical change in their brain when exposed to anything at or above “moderate” elevation, even for a relatively short period of time, Kanekar said.
“You see higher depression, higher anxiety in females, while males don’t seem to have that change,” Kanekar said.
Depression can lead to suicide, and suicide rates in Utah are significantly higher than the national average.
The Mountain West has fairly high suicide rates. Whether that’s due to high gun ownership, altitude or whatever I don’t know.
Anyway, I don’t know how good this researcher’s evidence is, but I’m always interested in medical research into the effects of altitude. I’ve been fascinated by altitude ever since I was introduced to topographic maps as an 11 year old Boy Scout.
There are a lot of beautiful places to retire to between Denver and Lake Tahoe, but it’s also tough to predict how your body will hold up to thin air later in life. This striked me as a relatively important topic for research, but I haven’t seen much research into this yet.
This strikes me as a relatively important topic for research, but I haven’t seen much research into this yet.
Sci-fi author Robert Heinlein lived in Colorado Springs (elevation at least 6000 feet) from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. His books from this era (e.g., Have Space Suit, Will Travel) are often obsessed with air pressure. Heinlein had major cerebral problems from 1966-1969 and couldn’t write (that’s why his 1966 novel The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress represents his peak as a novelist). When he finally recovered, he found himself rich and famous due to hippies taking up Stranger in a Strange Land. He moved to Santa Cruz, CA to live at sea level.