[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether cycling time trial (TT) performance differs between hypobaric hypoxia (HH) and normobaric hypoxia (NH) at the same ambient PO2 (93 mmHg, 4,300-m altitude equivalent).
Two groups of healthy fit men were matched on physical performance and demographic characteristics and completed a 720-kJ time trial on a cycle ergometer at sea level (SL) and following approximately 2 h of resting exposure to either HH (n = 6, 20 ± 2 years, 75.2 ± 11.8 kg, mean ± SD) or NH (n = 6, 21 ± 3 years, 77.4 ± 8.8 kg). Volunteers were free to manually increase or decrease the work rate on the cycle ergometer. Heart rate (HR), arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected every 5 min during the TT, and the mean was calculated.
Both groups exhibited similar TT performance (min) at SL (73.9 ± 7.6 vs. 73.2 ± 8.2), but TT performance was longer (P < 0.05) in HH (121.0 ± 12.1) compared to NH (99.5 ± 18.1). The percent decrement in TT performance from SL to HH (65.1 ± 23.6%) was greater (P < 0.05) than that from SL to NH (35.5 ± 13.7%). The mean exercise SaO2, HR, and RPE during the TT were not different in HH compared to NH.
Cycling time trial performance is impaired to a greater degree in HH versus NH at the same ambient PO2 equivalent to 4,300 m despite similar cardiorespiratory responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is an illness that affects many individuals at altitudes above 2,400 m (8,000 ft) resulting in decreased performance. Models that provide quantitative estimates of AMS risk are expanding, but predictive genetic models for AMS susceptibility are still under investigation. Thirty-four male U.S. Army Soldier volunteers were exposed to baseline, 3,000 m, 3,500 m, or 4,500 m altitude conditions in a hypobaric chamber and evaluated for onset of AMS symptoms. In addition, mice were evaluated at extreme hypoxia conditions equivalent to 7,600 m. Real-time polymerase chain reaction hypoxia response array was used to identify 15 genes that were activated in Soldiers and 46 genes that were activated in mice. We identified angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) as a gene that is significantly activated in response to hypoxia (5.8-fold upregulated at 4,500 m in humans). The role of ANGPTL4 in high-altitude response has not been explored. Pretreatment of mice with fenofibrate, an ANGPTL4-activating pharmaceutical, had a considerable effect on overall hypoxia response gene expression and resulted in significantly decreased cerebral edema following exposure to hypoxia. Activation of ANGPTL4 may protect against cerebral edema by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor and therefore serve as a potential target for AMS prevention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purposes were to determine the following: 1) the threshold between 2500-4300 m at which simple and complex military task performance is degraded; 2) whether the degree of degradation, if any, is related to changes in altitude illness, fatigue, or sleepiness at a given altitude; and 3) whether the level of hypoxemia, independent of altitude, affects simple and complex military task performance.
There were 57 lowlanders (mean +/- SD; 22 +/- 3 yr; 79 +/- 12 kg) who were exposed to either 2500 m (N = 17), 3000 m (N = 12), 3500 m (N = 11), or 4300 m (N = 17). Disassembly and reassembly of a weapon (DsAs, simple), rifle marksmanship (RM, complex), acute mountain sickness (AMS), fatigue, sleepiness, and arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) were measured at sea level (SL), and after 8 h (HA8) and 30 h (HA30) of exposure to each altitude.
DsAs did not change from SL to HA8 or HA30 at any altitude. RM speed (target/min) decreased from SL (20 +/- 1.5) to HA8 (17 +/- 1.5) and HA30 (17 +/- 3) only at 4300 m. AMS, fatigue, and sleepiness were increased and SaO2 was decreased at 2500 m and above. Increased sleepiness was the only variable associated with decreased RM speed at 4300 m (r = -0.67; P = 0.004). Greater hypoxemia, independent of altitude, was associated with greater decrements in RM speed (r = 0.27; P = 0.04).
Simple psychomotor performance was not affected by exposures between 2500-4300 m; however, complex psychomotor performance (i.e., RM speed) was degraded at 4300 m most likely due to increased sleepiness. Greater levels of hypoxemia were associated with greater decrements in RM speed.
Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 11/2013; 84(11):1147-52. DOI:10.3357/ASEM.3245.2013 · 0.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Staab, Janet E., Beth A. Beidleman, Stephen R. Muza, Charles S. Fulco, Paul B. Rock, and Allen Cymerman. Efficacy of residence at moderate versus low altitude on reducing acute mountain sickness in men following rapid ascent to 4300 m. High Alt Med Biol 14:13-18, 2013.-To determine if residence at moderate (∼2000 m) compared to low (<50 m) altitude reduces acute mountain sickness (AMS) in men during subsequent rapid ascent to a higher altitude. Nine moderate-altitude residents (MAR) and 18 sea-level residents (SLR) completed the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire (ESQ) at their respective baseline residence and again at 12, 24, 48, and 72 h at 4300 m to assess the severity and prevalence of AMS. AMS cerebral factor score (AMS-C) was calculated from the ESQ at each time point. AMS was judged to be present if AMS-C was ≥0.7. Resting end-tidal CO2 (PETco2) and arterial oxygen saturation (Sao2) were assessed prior to and at 24, 48, and 72 h at 4300 m. Resting venous blood samples were collected prior to and at 72 h at 4300 m to estimate plasma volume (PV) changes. MAR compared to SLR: 1) AMS severity at 4300 was lower (p<0.05) at 12 h (0.50±0.69 vs. 1.48±1.28), 24 h (0.15±0.19 vs. 1.39±1.19), 48 h (0.10±0.18 vs. 1.37±1.49) and 72 h (0.08±0.12 vs. 0.69±0.70); 2) AMS prevalence at 4300 was lower (p<0.05) at 12 h (22% vs. 72%), 24 h (0% vs. 56%), 48 h (0% vs. 56%), and 72 h (0% vs. 45%); 3) resting Sao2 (%) was lower (p<0.05) at baseline (95±1 vs. 99±1) but higher (p<0.05) at 4300 at 24 h (86±2 vs. 81±5), 48 h (88±3 vs. 83±6), and 72 h (88±2 vs. 83±5); and 4) PV (%) did not differ at 72 h at 4300 m in the MAR (4.5±6.7) but was reduced for the SLR (-8.1±10.4). These results suggest that ventilatory and hematological acclimatization acquired while living at moderate altitude, as indicated by a higher resting Sao2 and no reduction in PV during exposure to a higher altitude, is associated with greatly reduced AMS after rapid ascent to high altitude.
High altitude medicine & biology 03/2013; 14(1):13-8. DOI:10.1089/ham.2012.1065 · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Despite decades of research, no predictive models of acute mountain sickness (AMS) exist which identify the time course of AMS severity and prevalence following rapid ascent to various altitudes. METHODS: Using general linear and logistic mixed models and a comprehensive database, we analyzed 1,292 AMS Cerebral factor scores in 308 unacclimatized men and women who spent between 4-48 h at altitudes ranging from 1659-4501 m under experimentally controlled conditions (low and high activity). Covariates included in the analysis were altitude, time at altitude, activity level, age, body-mass index (BMI), race, sex, and smoking status. RESULTS: AMS severity increased (P<0.05) nearly 2-fold (i.e., 179%) for every 1000 m increase in altitude at 20 h of exposure, peaked between 18-22 h of exposure, and returned to initial levels by 48 h of exposure regardless of sex or activity level. Peak AMS severity scores were 38% higher (P<0.05) in men compared to women at 20 h of exposure. High active men and women (> 50% of maximal oxygen uptake for > 45 min at altitude) demonstrated a 72% increase (P<0.05) in the odds (OR 1.72, CI 1.03-3.08) of AMS compared to low actives. There was also a tendency (P=0.10) for men to demonstrate greater odds of AMS (OR 1.65, CI 0.84-3.25) compared to women. Age, BMI, race, and smoking status were not significantly associated with AMS. CONCLUSION: These models provide the first quantitative estimates of AMS risk over a wide range of altitudes and time points and suggest that in addition to altitude and time at altitude, high activity increases the risk of developing AMS. In addition, men demonstrated increased severity but not prevalence of AMS.
Medicine and science in sports and exercise 11/2012; 45. DOI:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31827989ec · 4.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FULCO, C. S., B. A. BEIDLEMAN, and S. R. MUZA. Effectiveness of preacclimatization strategies for high-altitude exposure. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 55-63, 2013. Acute mountain sickness (AMS) and large decrements in endurance exercise performance occur when unacclimatized individuals rapidly ascend to high altitudes. Six altitude and hypoxia preacclimatization strategies were evaluated to determine their effectiveness for minimizing AMS and improving performance during altitude exposures. Strategies using hypobaric chambers or true altitude were much more effective overall than those using normobaric hypoxia (breathing, <20.9% oxygen).
Exercise and sport sciences reviews 05/2012; 41(1). DOI:10.1097/JES.0b013e31825eaa33 · 4.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an expectation that repeated daily exposures to normobaric hypoxia (NH) will induce ventilatory acclimatization and lessen acute mountain sickness (AMS) and the exercise performance decrement during subsequent hypobaric hypoxia (HH) exposure. However, this notion has not been tested objectively. Healthy, unacclimatized sea-level (SL) residents slept for 7.5 h each night for 7 consecutive nights in hypoxia rooms under NH [n = 14, 24 ± 5 (SD) yr] or "sham" (n = 9, 25 ± 6 yr) conditions. The ambient percent O(2) for the NH group was progressively reduced by 0.3% [150 m equivalent (equiv)] each night from 16.2% (2,200 m equiv) on night 1 to 14.4% (3,100 m equiv) on night 7, while that for the ventilatory- and exercise-matched sham group remained at 20.9%. Beginning at 25 h after sham or NH treatment, all subjects ascended and lived for 5 days at HH (4,300 m). End-tidal Pco(2), O(2) saturation (Sa(O(2))), AMS, and heart rate were measured repeatedly during daytime rest, sleep, or exercise (11.3-km treadmill time trial). From pre- to posttreatment at SL, resting end-tidal Pco(2) decreased (P < 0.01) for the NH (from 39 ± 3 to 35 ± 3 mmHg), but not for the sham (from 39 ± 2 to 38 ± 3 mmHg), group. Throughout HH, only sleep Sa(O(2)) was higher (80 ± 1 vs. 76 ± 1%, P < 0.05) and only AMS upon awakening was lower (0.34 ± 0.12 vs. 0.83 ± 0.14, P < 0.02) in the NH than the sham group; no other between-group rest, sleep, or exercise differences were observed at HH. These results indicate that the ventilatory acclimatization induced by NH sleep was primarily expressed during HH sleep. Under HH conditions, the higher sleep Sa(O(2)) may have contributed to a lessening of AMS upon awakening but had no impact on AMS or exercise performance for the remainder of each day.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoxia often causes body water deficits (hypohydration, HYPO); however, the effects of HYPO on aerobic exercise performance and prevalence of acute mountain sickness (AMS) at high altitude (ALT) have not been reported. We hypothesized that 1) HYPO and ALT would each degrade aerobic performance relative to sea level (SL)-euhydrated (EUH) conditions, and combining HYPO and ALT would further degrade performance more than one stressor alone; and 2) HYPO would increase the prevalence and severity of AMS symptoms. Seven lowlander men (25 ± 7 yr old; 82 ± 11 kg; mean ± SD) completed four separate experimental trials. Trials were 1) SL-EUH, 2) SL-HYPO, 3) ALT-EUH, and 4) ALT-HYPO. In HYPO, subjects were dehydrated by 4% of body mass. Subjects maintained hydration status overnight and the following morning entered a hypobaric chamber (at SL or 3,048 m, 27°C) where they completed 30 min of submaximal exercise immediately followed by a 30-min performance time trial (TT). AMS was measured with the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire-Cerebral Score (AMS-C) and the Lake Louise Scoring System (LLS). The percent change in TT performance, relative to SL-EUH, was -19 ± 12% (334 ± 64 to 278 ± 87 kJ), -11 ± 10% (334 ± 64 to 293 ± 33 kJ), and -34 ± 22% (334 ± 64 to 227 ± 95 kJ), for SL-HYPO, ALT-EUH, and ALT-HYPO, respectively. AMS symptom prevalence was 2/7 subjects at ALT-EUH for AMS-C and LLS and 5/7 and 4/7 at ALT-HYPO for AMS-C and LLS, respectively. The AMS-C symptom severity score (AMS-C score) tended to increase from ALT-EUH to ALT-HYPO but was not significant (P = 0.07). In conclusion, hypohydration at 3,048 m 1) degrades aerobic performance in an additive manner with that induced by ALT; and 2) did not appear to increase the prevalence/severity of AMS symptoms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Staged ascent (SA), temporary residence at moderate altitude en route to high altitude, reduces the incidence and severity of noncardiopulmonary altitude illness such as acute mountain sickness. To date, the impact of SA on pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that SA would attenuate the PAP increase that occurs during rapid, direct ascent (DA). Transthoracic echocardiography was used to estimate mean PAP in 10 healthy males at sea level (SL, P(B) approximately 760 torr), after DA to simulated high altitude (hypobaric chamber, P(B) approximately 460 torr), and at 2 times points (90 min and 4 days) during exposure to terrestrial high altitude (P(B) approximately 460 torr) after SA (7 days, moderate altitude, P(B) approximately 548 torr). Alveolar oxygen pressure (Pao(2)) and arterial oxygenation saturation (Sao(2)) were measured at each time point. Compared to mean PAP at SL (mean +/- SD, 14 +/- 3 mmHg), mean PAP increased after DA to 37 +/- 8 mmHg (Delta = 24 +/- 10 mmHg, p < 0.001) and was negatively correlated with both Pao(2) (r(2) = 0.57, p = 0.011) and Sao(2) (r(2) = 0.64, p = 0.005). In comparison, estimated mean PAP after SA increased to only 25 +/- 4 mmHg (Delta = 11 +/- 6 mmHg, p < 0.001), remained unchanged after 4 days of high altitude residence (24 +/- 5 mmHg, p = not significant, or NS), and did not correlate with either parameter of oxygenation. SA significantly attenuated the PAP increase associated with continuous direct ascent to high altitude and appeared to uncouple PAP from both alveolar hypoxia and arterial hypoxemia.
High altitude medicine & biology 06/2010; 11(2):139-45. DOI:10.1089/ham.2009.1073 · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For many low-altitude (<1500 m) residents, their travel itineraries may cause them to ascend rapidly to high (>2400 m) altitudes without having the time to develop an adequate degree of altitude acclimatization. Prior to departing on these trips, low-altitude residents can induce some degree of altitude acclimatization by ascending to moderate (>1500 m) or high altitudes during either continuous or intermittent altitude preexposures. Generally, the degree of altitude acclimatization developed is proportional to the altitude attained and the duration of exposure. The available evidence suggests that continuous residence at 2200 m or higher for 1 to 2 days or daily 1.5- to 4-h exposures to >4000 m induce ventilatory acclimatization. Six days at 2200 m substantially decreases acute mountain sickness (AMS) and improves work performance after rapid ascent to 4300 m. There is evidence that 5 or more days above 3000 m within the last 2 months will significantly decrease AMS during a subsequent rapid ascent to 4500 m. Exercise training during the altitude preexposures may augment improvement in physical performance. The persistence of altitude acclimatization after return to low altitude appears to be proportional to the degree of acclimatization developed. The subsequent ascent to high altitude should be scheduled as soon as possible after the last altitude preexposure.
High altitude medicine & biology 06/2010; 11(2):87-92. DOI:10.1089/ham.2010.1006 · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Partial acclimatization resulting from staging at moderate altitude reduces acute mountain sickness during rapid exposure to higher altitudes (e.g., 4300 m). Whether staging also benefits endurance performance has not yet been scientifically evaluated.
Determine the effectiveness of staging at 2200 m on time trial (TT) performance of unacclimatized sea-level residents (SLR) during rapid exposure to 4300 m. There were 10 healthy men (mean +/- SE: 21 +/- 1 yrs) who performed 720 kJ cycle TT at SL and following -2 h of exposure to 4300 m (459 Torr) before (ALT-1) and after (ALT-2) living for 6 d at 2200 m (601 Torr).
Hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]), hematocrit (Hct), arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and heart rate (HR) were measured before and during exercise.
Compared to SL (73 +/- 6 min), TT performance was impaired (P < 0.01) by 38.1 +/- 6 min at ALT-1, but only by 18.7 +/- 3 min at ALT-2. The 44 +/- 8% TT improvement at 4300 m was directly correlated with increases in exercise SaO2 (R = 0.88, P < 0.03), but not to changes in [Hb] or Hct. In addition, RPE was lower (13 +/- 1 vs.16 +/- 1, P < 0.01) and HR remained at approximately 148 +/- 5 bpm despite performing the TT at a higher power output during ALT-2 than ALT-1 (120 +/- 7 vs.100 +/- 10 W, P < 0.01).
Partial acclimatization resulting from staging attenuated the impairment in TT performance of SLR rapidly exposed to 4300 m. The close association between improved TT performance and changes in exercise SaO2, compared to a lack of association with changes in [Hb] or Hct, suggest ventilatory acclimatization may have been the major factor contributing to the performance improvement.
Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 11/2009; 80(11):955-61. DOI:10.3357/ASEM.2540.2009 · 0.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study determined the effectiveness of 6 days (d) of staging at 2200 m on physiologic adjustments and acute mountain sickness (AMS) during rapid, high-risk ascent to 4300 m. Eleven sea-level (SL) resident men (means +/- SD; 21 +/- 3 yr; 78 +/- 13 kg) completed resting measures of end-tidal CO(2) (Petco(2)), arterial oxygen saturation (Sao(2)), heart rate (HR), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) at SL and within 1 h of exposure to 4300 m in a hypobaric chamber prior to 6 d of staging at 2200 m (preSTG) and on the summit of Pikes Peak following 6 d of staging at 2200 m (postSTG). Immediately following resting ventilation measures, all performed submaximal exercise ( approximately 55% of altitude-specific maximal oxygen uptake) for approximately 2 h on a bicycle ergometer to induce higher levels of AMS. AMS-C, calculated from the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire, was measured following 4 h and 8 h of exposure at preSTG and postSTG, and the mean was calculated. Resting Petco(2) (mmHg) was unchanged from SL (39.8 +/- 2.6) to preSTG (39.3 +/- 3.0), but decreased (p < 0.05) from preSTG to postSTG (32.8 +/- 2.6). Resting Sao(2) (%) decreased (p < 0.05) from SL (97 +/- 2) to preSTG (80 +/- 4) and increased (p < 0.05) from preSTG to postSTG (83 +/- 3). Resting HR (bpm) and MAP (mmHg) did not change in any of the test conditions. The incidence and severity of AMS-C decreased (p < 0.05) from preSTG (91 +/- 30%; 1.05 +/- 0.56) to postSTG (45 +/- 53%; 0.59 +/- 0.43), respectively. These results suggest that modest physiologic adjustments induced by staging for 6 d at 2200 m reduced the incidence and severity of AMS during rapid, high-risk ascent to 4300 m.
High altitude medicine & biology 09/2009; 10(3):253-60. DOI:10.1089/ham.2009.1004 · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the effect of 1 wk of normobaric intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE) combined with exercise training on endurance performance at a 4300-m altitude (HA).
Seventeen male lowlanders were divided into an IHE (n = 11) or SHAM (n = 6) group. Each completed cycle endurance testing consisting of two 20-min steady state (SS) exercise bouts (at 40% and 60% V O2peak) followed by a 10-min break and then a 720-kJ cycle time trial at HA before IHE or SHAM treatment (Pre-T). IHE treatment consisted of a 2-h rest at a PO2 of 90 mm Hg followed by two 25-min bouts of exercise at approximately 80% of peak HR at a PO2 of 110 mm Hg for 1 wk in a hypoxia room. SHAM treatment was identical except that the PO2 was 148 mm Hg for both rest and exercise. After IHE or SHAM treatment (Post-T), all completed a second cycle endurance test at HA. HR, arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), and RPE were obtained from the 10th to the 15th minute during the two SS exercise bouts and every 5 min during the time trial.
Seven volunteers in the IHE group could not finish the 720-kJ time trial either at Pre-T or at Post-T. Time trial analysis was limited, therefore, to the time to reach 360 kJ (halfway point) for all volunteers. From Pre-T to Post-T, there was no improvement in time trial performance (min +/- SE) in the IHE (62.0 +/- 4.8 to 63.7 +/- 5.2) or SHAM (60.9 +/- 6.3 to 54.2 +/- 6.8) group. There was no change from Pre-T to Post-T in HR, SaO2, and RPE during the two SS exercise bouts or time trial in either group.
One week of IHE combined with exercise training does not improve endurance performance at a 4300-m altitude in male lowlanders.
Medicine and science in sports and exercise 06/2009; 41(6):1317-25. DOI:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181954601 · 4.46 Impact Factor