Gender differences in cardiovascular regulation during recovery from exercise

October 17, 2001

Report Among the Highlighted Topics on Gender Differences in the October Edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology

BETHESDA, Md. -- October 18, 2001 -- The American Physiological Society (APS) kicks off a special series entitled, "Highlighted Topics on Gender Differences in Physiology," beginning with the October 2001 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, the Society's flagship publication. The October issue offers the following examination:

Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Regulation During Recovery From Exercise
Robert Carter III and his colleagues at the Department of Integrative Physiology and Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX. write "Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Regulation During Recovery From Exercise." The researchers examine the influence of gender differences on cardiovascular responses during recovery from dynamic exercise in humans.

Background and Study
Several studies have reported that women have a lower tolerance to various orthostatic challenges at rest compared to men. In addition, some studies have suggested that the mechanisms regulating arterial pressure in women are less responsive compared with men. Accordingly, it has been suggested that men may respond to orthostatic challenges with greater sympathetic stimulation to the peripheral vasculature compared with women, whereas women respond with greater vagally mediated increases in heart rate. Presumably, these mechanisms also play an important role in arterial pressure maintenance when exercise is stopped. Because women exhibit less orthostatic tolerance than men at rest, women may be more susceptible to postexercise orthostatic hypertension.

Results and Conclusions
The results of the present study support the hypothesis that women exhibit a greater decrease in arterial pressure during recovery from exercise compared with men. Furthermore, the physiological difference that explains the greater postexercise decrease in arterial pressure in women involves relatively greater reductions in cardiac output and lesser increases in vascular resistance during the initial recovery from exercise. In addition, the results of the present study confirm previous studies that found a significant benefit of very light activity (e.g., engaging the muscle pump) in supporting arterial pressure during recovery from exercise, regardless of gender.
The American Physiological Society (APS) was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied science, much of it relating to human health. The Bethesda, MD-based Society has more than 10,000 members and publishes 3,800 articles in its 14 peer-reviewed journals every year.


Contact: Donna Krupa:
Cell: 703.967.2751 or

Or at The APS Newsroom @
The Westin Convention Center
Pittsburgh, PA
October 17-20, 2001
Tel: 412.281.3700 (The Crawford Room)

American Physiological Society

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