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1 November 2021 High altitude exposure affects male reproductive parameters: could it also affect the prostate?
Diana Elizabeth Alcantara-Zapata, Aníbal J. Llanos, Carolina Nazzal
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Living at high altitudes and living with prostatic illness are two different conditions closely related to a hypoxic environment. People at high altitudes exposed to acute, chronic or intermittent hypobaric hypoxia turn on several mechanisms at the system, cellular, and molecular level to cope with oxygen atmosphere scarcity maintaining the oxygen homeostasis. This exposure affects the whole organism and function of many systems, such as cardiovascular, respiratory, and reproductive. On the other hand, malignant prostate is related to the scarcity of oxygen in the tissue microenvironment due to its low availability and high consumption due to the swift cell proliferation rates. Based on the literature, this similarity in the oxygen scarcity suggests that hypobaric hypoxia, and other common factors between these two conditions, could be involved in the aggravation of the pathological prostatic status. However, there is still a lack of evidence in the association of this disease in males at high altitudes. This review aims to examine the possible mechanisms that hypobaric hypoxia might negatively add to the pathological prostate function in males who live and work at high altitudes. More profound investigations of hypobaric hypoxia's direct action on the prostate could help understand this exposure's effect and prevent worse prostate illness impact in males at high altitudes.

Summary Sentence Learning whether hypobaric hypoxia might aggravate prostate disease is necessary to prevent the significant impact of this disease on the quality of life of men exposed to altitude and contribute to the approach to prevention of this pathology.

Graphical Abstract

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Diana Elizabeth Alcantara-Zapata, Aníbal J. Llanos, and Carolina Nazzal "High altitude exposure affects male reproductive parameters: could it also affect the prostate?," Biology of Reproduction 106(3), 385-396, (1 November 2021).
Received: 16 August 2021; Accepted: 27 October 2021; Published: 1 November 2021
high altitude
male reproduction
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