A 47-year-old member asked:
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can living at a higher altitude cause spontaneous pneumothorax?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Stephen Siegel
38 years experience Pulmonology
No: Pneumothorax is a risk with barotrauma occurring during rapid changes in pressure causing the lung to overexpand. For example if a scuba diver is at depth takes a deep breath and comes up from the high pressure depth to low pressure at surface, the lungs will overexpand. As pressure decreases, volume of air in lungs increase>barotrauma. Living at constant pressure at high altitude is ok.
Answered on Dec 25, 2020
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Dr. Loki Skylizard
20 years experience Thoracic Surgery
Generally no.: Living at higher altitude is not regarded as an independent risk factor for spontaneous pneumothorax. The risk factors for primary and secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (sp) include: smoking (including marijuana), tall thin stature in otherwise healthy, connective tissue disorders, pregnancy, familial history. Lung inflammation is also hypothesized to be important.
Answered on Dec 9, 2013

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Unlikely: Never heard of this.
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