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Exploiting Aerobic Fitness To Reduce Risk Of Hypobaric Decompression SicknessDecompression sickness (DCS) is multivariable. But we hypothesize an aerobically fit person is less likely to experience hypobaric DCS than an unfit person given that fitness is exploited as part of the denitrogenation (prebreathe, PB) process prior to an altitude exposure. Aerobic fitness is peak oxygen uptake (VO2pk, ml/kg/min). METHODS: Treadmill or cycle protocols were used over 15 years to determine VO2pks. We evaluated dichotomous DCS outcome and venous gas emboli (VGE) outcome detected in the pulmonary artery with Doppler ultrasound associated with VO2pk for two classes of experiments: 1) those with no PB or PB under resting conditions prior to ascent in an altitude chamber, and 2) PB that included exercise for some part of the PB. There were 165 exposures (mean VO2pk 40.5 +/- 7.6 SD) with 25 cases of DCS in the first protocol class and 172 exposures (mean VO2pk 41.4 +/- 7.2 SD) with 25 cases of DCS in the second. Similar incidence of the DCS (15.2% vs. 14.5%) and VGE (45.5% vs. 44.8%) between the two classes indicates that decompression stress was similar. The strength of association between outcome and VO2pk was evaluated using univariate logistic regression. RESULTS: An inverse relationship between the DCS outcome and VO2pk was evident, but the relationship was strongest when exercise was done as part of the PB (exercise PB, coef. = -0.058, p = 0.07; rest or no PB, coef. = -0.005, p = 0.86). There was no relationship between VGE outcome and VO2pk (exercise PB, coef. = -0.003, p = 0.89; rest or no PB, coef. = 0.014, p = 0.50). CONCLUSIONS: A significant change in probability of DCS was associated with fitness only when exercise was included in the denitrogenation process. We believe a fit person that exercises during PB efficiently eliminates dissolved nitrogen from tissues.
Document ID
20060046703
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Conkin, Johnny (National Space Biomedical Research Inst. Houston, TX, United States)
Gernhardt, Michael L. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Wessel, James H., III (Wyle Labs Life Science and Services, Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Meeting Information
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society Annual Meeting
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NCC9-58
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.