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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1986 Jun;60(6):1894-9.

Influence of body size and gender on control of ventilation.


Hypoxic (HVR) and hypercapnic (HCVR) ventilatory responses are influenced by both metabolic activity and hormonal factors. By studying 67 subjects of both sexes, including those at the extremes of stature, we examined the influence of gender, CO2 production (VCO2), O2 consumption (VO2), body surface area (BSA), and vital capacity (VC) on resting ventilation (VE), HVR, and HCVR. We measured resting VE, VO2, and VCO2 and then performed isocapnic progressive hypoxic and hypercapnic ventilatory responses. The effect of stature was reflected in higher VE and metabolic rate (both P less than 0.001) in tall men compared with short men that was ablated by correction for BSA. Perhaps because their heights vary less than those of the men, tall women were not statistically distinguishable from short women in any of these measured parameters. Tall men tended to have greater hypoxic chemosensitivity than short men but this was not significantly different (P = 0.07). Gender affected the control of ventilation in a number of ways. Men had higher VE (P less than 0.05) and metabolic rate (P less than 0.001) than women. Even after correction for BSA men still had higher metabolic rates. Women had higher VE/VCO2 than men (P less than 0.05) and lower resting end-tidal Pco2 (PETCO2) values (P less than 0.05). Both A, the shape parameter of the hyperbolic HVR curve, and HVR determined from mouth occlusion pressure (AP) were greater in women than in men, although only AP reached statistical significance. However, corrections of A for BSA (P less than 0.05), VCO2 (P less than 0.01), and VC (P less than 0.001) amplified these differences.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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