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Mil Med. 2014 Nov;179(11):1339-46. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00169.

Heat tolerance testing: association between heat intolerance and anthropometric and fitness measurements.

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Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.
The Institute of Military Physiology, Heller Institute of Medical Research, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer 52621, Israel.


This study investigated associations between heat intolerance, as determined by performance on a heat tolerance test (HTT), and anthropometric measurements (body surface-to-mass ratio, percent body fat, body mass index, and waist circumference) and cardiorespiratory fitness (maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max]). Relationships between predictive variables and specific physiological measurements recorded during the HTT were examined. A total of 34 male and 12 female participants, recruited from the military community, underwent anthropometric measurements, a maximal aerobic exercise test, and a standardized HTT, which consisted of walking on a treadmill at 5 km/h at 2% grade for 120 minutes at 40°C and 40% relative humidity. VO2max negatively correlated with maximum core temperature (r = -0.30, p < 0.05) and heart rate (HR) (r = -0.48, p < 0.01) although percent body fat showed a positive correlation with maximum HR (r = 0.36, p < 0.05). VO2max was the only independent attribute that significantly influenced both the maximum HR and core temperature attained during HTT. Logistic regression analyses indicated that VO2max was the only independent parameter (OR = 0.89, p = 0.026) that significantly contributed to overall HTT performance. Low cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with heat intolerance, as defined by HTT performance, and can be addressed as a preventative measure for exertional heat illness. This study provides further evidence that the HTT can be an effective tool for assessment of thermoregulatory patterns.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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