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The Effects of Sex on Cardiopulmonary Responses to Acute Normobaric Hypoxia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Adrian Mellor, Dr David Woods


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Background: Acute hypoxia leads to a number of recognized changes in cardiopulmonary function, including acute increase in pulmonary artery systolic pressure. However, the comparative responses between men and women have been barely explored.Methods: Fourteen young healthy adult Caucasian subjects were studied at sea-level rest and then after >150-minute exposure to acute normobaric hypoxia (NH) equivalent to 4800 m and again at sea-level rest at 2 hours post-NH exposure. Cardiac function, using transthoracic echocardiography, physiological variables, and Lake Louise Scores for acute mountain sickness (AMS) were collected.Results: All subjects completed the study, and there was an equal balance of men (n = 7) and women (n = 7) who were well matched for age (25.9 +/- 3.2 vs. 27.3 +/- 4.4; p = 0.51). NH exposure led to a significant increase in AMS scores and heart rate, as well as a fall in oxygen saturation, systolic blood pressure, and stroke volume. Stroke volumes and cardiac output were overall significantly higher in men than in women, and acute NH heart rate was higher in women (80.3 +/- 10.2 vs. 69.7 +/- 10.7/min; p < 0.05). NH led to a significant fall in the estimated left ventricular filling pressure (E/E'), an increase in the septal A' and S' and septal and lateral isovolumic contractile velocities (ICVs), and a fall in the E' A' S' ratio. The mitral E, lateral ICV, and E' velocities were all higher in men. Acute NH led to a significant increase in right ventricular systolic pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance. There was no interaction between NH exposure and sex for any parameters measured.Conclusion: Despite several baseline differences between men and women, the cardiopulmonary effects of acute NH are consistent between men and women.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Boos CJ, Mellor A, O'Hara JP, Tsakirides C, Woods DR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: High Altitude Medicine & Biology

Year: 2016

Volume: 17

Issue: 2

Pages: 108-115

Print publication date: 09/06/2016

Online publication date: 23/03/2016

Acceptance date: 27/01/2016

ISSN (print): 1527-0297

ISSN (electronic): 1557-8682

Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


DOI: 10.1089/ham.2015.0114


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