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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12623-12631; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212623

Effect of a Brief Heat Exposure on Blood Pressure and Physical Performance of Older Women Living in the Community—A Pilot-Study

Department of Clinical Gerontology and Rehabilitation, Robert-Bosch-Hospital, 70376 Stuttgart, Germany
Physical Work Capacity Team, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 90220 Oulu, Finland
Institute of Applied Health Research, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, G4 0BA, UK
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Research Unit, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals, University of Copenhagen, 2400 NV Copenhagen, Denmark
Institute of Epidemiology, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
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Global climate change is affecting health and mortality, particularly in vulnerable populations. High ambient temperatures decrease blood pressure (BP) in young and middle aged adults and may lead to orthostatic hypotension, increasing the risk of falls in older adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a test protocol to investigate BP response and aerobic capacity of older adults in a hot indoor environment. BP response and aerobic capacity were assessed in 26 community-dwelling older women (median age 75.5 years) at a room temperature of either 20 °C or 30 °C. The protocol was well tolerated by all participants. In the 30 °C condition systolic and diastolic BP (median difference 10 and 8 mmHg, respectively) and distance walked in 6 min (median difference 29.3 m) were lower than in the 20 °C condition (all p < 0.01). Systolic BP decreased after standing up from a lying position in the 30 °C (17.4 mmHg) and 20 °C (14.2 mmHg) condition (both p < 0.001). In conclusion, the protocol is feasible in this cohort and should be repeated in older adults with poor physical performance and impaired cardio-vascular response mechanisms. Furthermore, aerobic capacity was reduced after exposure to hot environmental temperatures, which should be considered when recommending exercise to older people during the summer months. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerobic capacity; blood pressure; heat; older women aerobic capacity; blood pressure; heat; older women
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stotz, A.; Rapp, K.; Oksa, J.; Skelton, D.A.; Beyer, N.; Klenk, J.; Becker, C.; Lindemann, U. Effect of a Brief Heat Exposure on Blood Pressure and Physical Performance of Older Women Living in the Community—A Pilot-Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12623-12631.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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