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MCAT Question A Day - 8/18/14 - Answer!

At high altitude, water vapor pressure in the lungs remains the same and carbon dioxide pressure falls slightly. Oxygen pressure falls. The body of a person remaining at high altitudes for days, weeks, and even years will acclimatize. All of the following changes assist the body in coping with low oxygen EXCEPT:

A.  increased red blood cells.
B.  decreased vascularity of the tissues.
C.  increased pulmonary ventilation.
D.  increased diffusing capacity of the lungs.

B is correct. The person would need increased vascularity to deliver more blood to the tissues because the blood would carry less oxygen.

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