The acute effects of intermittent hypoxia on peripheral vascular function in young and older adults

Date

2023-04-18

Authors

Stray-Gundersen, Sten Oliver

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Abstract

Intermittent hypoxia, characterized by repeated bouts of breathing hypoxic air separated by bouts of breathing normoxic air, has gained considerable traction in recent years for its wide-ranging therapeutic effects. The overall theme for this dissertation is centered on the acute effects of intermittent hypoxia on peripheral vascular function in humans. In the first study, we demonstrate that although an intermittent hypoxia protocol consisting of eight 4-min hypoxic cycles induces brachial artery vasodilation, it does not acutely improve flow-mediated dilation, a key measure of endothelium-dependent peripheral vascular function, in young individuals. Similarly, in the second study, we demonstrate that the same intermittent hypoxia protocol consisting of eight 4-min hypoxic cycles can also induce brachial artery vasodilation without acutely affecting flow-mediated dilation in older adults. In the third study, we demonstrate that a short intermittent hypoxia protocol can attenuate the reduction in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation following ischemia-reperfusion injury in older adults. Taken together, the overall findings from this series of investigations highlight the effect of intermittent hypoxia on peripheral vascular function in both young and older adults.

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