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Reference values for oxygen saturation from sea level to the highest human habitation in the Andes in acclimatised persons
  1. Jose Rojas-Camayo1,
  2. Christian Richard Mejia2,
  3. David Callacondo3,
  4. Jennifer A Dawson4,
  5. Margarita Posso5,
  6. Cesar Alberto Galvan6,
  7. Nadia Davila-Arango7,
  8. Erick Anibal Bravo8,
  9. Viky Yanina Loescher9,
  10. Magaly Milagros Padilla-Deza10,
  11. Nora Rojas-Valero11,
  12. Gary Velasquez-Chavez12,
  13. Jose Clemente13,
  14. Guisela Alva-Lozada14,
  15. Angel Quispe-Mauricio15,
  16. Silvana Bardalez16,
  17. Rami Subhi17
  1. 1Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
  2. 2Escuela de Medicina Humana, Universidad Continental, Huancayo, Peru
  3. 3School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences., Universidad Privada de Tacna., Tacna, Peru
  4. 4The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  5. 5Department of Epidemiology and Evaluation, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain
  6. 6Centro de Referencia Nacional de Alergia, Asma e Inmunologia (CERNAAI), Instituto Nacional de Salud del Niño, Lima, Peru
  7. 7Hospital Clínico Universitario de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
  8. 8Hospital Nacional Dos de Mayo, Institute of Clinical Research, Lima, Peru
  9. 9Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, USA
  10. 10Resocentro, Lima, Peru
  11. 11Hospital Nacional Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen, Lima, Peru
  12. 12Centro de Salud Zalfonada, Zaragoza, Spain
  13. 13Hospital Nacional Hipólito Unanue, Lima, Peru
  14. 14Hospital Nacional Edgardo Rebagliati Martins, Lima, Peru
  15. 15Hospital Universitario Príncipe de Asturias, Madrid, Spain
  16. 16Clinica Concebir, Lima, Peru
  17. 17Center for international Child Health, University of Melbourne, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jose Rojas-Camayo, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima 31, Peru; joserojas18{at}


Oxygen saturation, measured by pulse oximetry (SpO2), is a vital clinical measure. Our descriptive, cross-sectional study describes SpO2 measurements from 6289 healthy subjects from age 1 to 80 years at 15 locations from sea level up to the highest permanent human habitation. Oxygen saturation measurements are illustrated as percentiles. As altitude increased, SpO2 decreased, especially at altitudes above 2500 m. The increase in altitude had a significant impact on SpO2 measurements for all age groups. Our data provide a reference range for expected SpO2 measurements in people from 1 to 80 years from sea level to the highest city in the world.

  • Clinical Epidemiology

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  • Contributors All authors were involved in the design of the study and collection of clinical data. JAD, JRC and CRM performed the data analysis. JRC, CRM, DC, JAD, MP, VYL and RS drafted the final manuscript and all authors reviewed and made amendments.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee at Hospital Nacional Docente Madre Niño San Bartolomé, Lima-Peru.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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