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Background

Premenopausal women show a higher incidence of orthostatic hypotension than age-matched men, but there are limited data available on sex differences in cardiovascular responses to orthostatic challenge in healthy older persons. We investigated sex differences in hemodynamic and autonomic responses to orthostatic challenge in healthy older males and females.

Materials and methods

Fourteen older healthy women and 10 age-matched men performed a sit-to-stand test (5 min of sitting followed by 5 min of standing). A Task Force® Monitor continuously measured the following beat-to-beat hemodynamic parameters: heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean blood pressure, stroke index, cardiac index, and total peripheral resistance index. Cardiac autonomic activity, low-frequency (LF: 0.04–0.15 Hz) normalized (LFnuRRI) and high-frequency (HF: 0.15–0.4 Hz) normalized (HFnuRRI) components, and the ratio between LF and HF power (LF/HF) were calculated using power spectral analysis of heart rate variability.

Results

Across all hemodynamic parameters, there were no significant differences between the sexes at baseline and during standing. LFnuRRI (median: 70.2 vs. 52.3, p < 0.05) and LF/HF ratio (median: 2.4 vs. 1.1, p < 0.05) were significantly higher, whereas HFnuRRI (median: 29.8 vs. 47.7, p < 0.05) was lower among women at baseline. All other heart rate variability measures did not differ between the sexes.

Conclusions

The data indicate that older women showed higher sympathetic and lower parasympathetic activity at rest compared to age-matched men. These results are contradictory to the observations from previous studies, which showed a reduced sympathetic and enhanced parasympathetic activity in women in all ages. Further studies are required to determine the underlying mechanisms contributing to higher incidence of orthostatic hypotension in older females.

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Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors:
A Bandyopadhyay
,
R Dalui
,
S Pal
,
I Bhattacharjee
,
B Goswami
, and
AS Roy

Rapid economic and industrial growths imposed significant impact on human health including the pulmonary health. Questions were raised regarding the validity of the existing prediction norms of pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in a particular population. The present study was conducted to investigate the applicability of the existing norms for PFTs in young healthy non-smoking female university students of Kolkata, India. Significant difference was noted in vital capacity (VC), forced vital capacity (FVC), and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) when the present data were compared with the earlier study in similar population. Correlation statistic revealed significant relationship of age and body height with all the PFT parameters. Body mass had significant correlation with VC, FVC, FEV1 as a percentage of FVC (FEV1%), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). Regression equations have been computed for predicting PFTs from age and body height. There has been a change of PFTs in the studied population for the last couple of decades due to increased environmental pollution in the course of economical and industrial developments. Regression equations computed in this study are not only recommended to predict PFT parameters in the studied population, but they are also considered more reliable owing to their substantially smaller standard error of estimate than those proposed in the previous study.

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