Researchers agree with Peat:
"We've known since the 1920s (that) if you go to really high altitudes you will lose weight," says Robert Roach, director of the Altitude Research Center in Aurora, Colo., which studies how hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, affects health and performance."
"If you look at people who live at high altitude around the world, incidents of most types of heart disease and stroke are much less," Roach says."
"People who live at very high altitudes live significantly longer; they have a lower incidence of cancer (Weinberg, et al., 1987) and heart disease (Mortimer, et al., 1977), and other degenerative conditions, than people who live near sea level. As I have written earlier, I think the lower energy transfer from cosmic radiation is likely to be a factor in their longevity, but several kinds of evidence indicate that it is the lower oxygen pressure itself that makes the biggest contribution to their longevity."
I've lived in altitude locations for 25 years total and continuously the last 15. Many of the people I've known living in these areas have cancer, cataracts, elevated cholesterol, etc. Recently, over the fall, I had a DVT scare, which means I might have heart disease. I'm not overweight, am active, and have eaten moderately well most of my life.
Actually, I've always thought most people in these mountain areas look worn out, fatigued, and "rusty"-- old, not like they benefited from the fresh, oxygen-free air. I assumed for years it was because of UV damage, but now think it's because elevation might be in some way harmful. Obesity is also pretty common.
Just look at some of the famous people who live in these areas. Val Kilmer, who lives in Santa Fe, which is 7,000 ft., is old and overweight:
Linda McCartney died of cancer while living in Tucson (2,000+ ft). Patrick Swayze, who lived in Las Vegas, NM, also died of cancer.
Shirley Maclaine, who lives in Santa Fe, is soooo healthy from a lack of oxygen and cosmic radiation:
Actually, she sounds and looks like she is.