Effect of age on heat-activated sweat gland density and flow during exercise in dry heat

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Abstract

Physiological responses of eight postmenopausal older women (age 52-62 yr) and eight younger women (age 20-30 yr) were compared during moderate intensity exercise in a hot dry environment (48°C dry bulb, 25°C wet bulb). The age groups were matched on the basis of maximal O2 consumption (V̇O2(max)), body surface area, and body fatness. After heat acclimation the women walked at 40% V̇O2(max) for up to 2 h in the hot dry environment while heart rate (HR), rectal temperature (T(re)), mean skin temperature (T̄(sk)), whole-body sweating rate (Ṁ(sw)), and local sweating rates (ṁ(sw); forearm, chest, and scapula) were measured. Additionally, the density of heat-activated sweat glands (HASG) was determined and average sweat gland flow (SGF) was calculated for the scapular area. Although no differences between age groups were found in HR response (when analyzed as percent of maximal HR) or T̄(sk), the older women had a significantly higher T(re) throughout the heat-exercise session. The greater heat storage of the older women may be explained by their significantly lower Ṁ(sw) and ṁ(sw). There were no differences between the younger and older women in the density of HASG after 30 min; therefore, the lower ṁ(sw) reflects a diminished output per HASG rather than a decrease in the number of sweat glands recruited. The diminished thermoregulatory ability of the older women, unrelated to differences in V̇O2(max), appears to reflect either 1) a diminished response of the sweat glands to central and/or peripheral stimuli, or 2) an age-related structural alteration in the eccrine glands or surrounding skin cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1094
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume63
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1987

Fingerprint

Sweat Glands
Hot Temperature
Exercise
Sweating
Heart Rate
Age Groups
Eccrine Glands
Scapula
Skin Temperature
Acclimatization
Body Surface Area
Forearm
Thorax
Skin
Temperature

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

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title = "Effect of age on heat-activated sweat gland density and flow during exercise in dry heat",
abstract = "Physiological responses of eight postmenopausal older women (age 52-62 yr) and eight younger women (age 20-30 yr) were compared during moderate intensity exercise in a hot dry environment (48°C dry bulb, 25°C wet bulb). The age groups were matched on the basis of maximal O2 consumption (V̇O2(max)), body surface area, and body fatness. After heat acclimation the women walked at 40{\%} V̇O2(max) for up to 2 h in the hot dry environment while heart rate (HR), rectal temperature (T(re)), mean skin temperature (T̄(sk)), whole-body sweating rate (Ṁ(sw)), and local sweating rates (ṁ(sw); forearm, chest, and scapula) were measured. Additionally, the density of heat-activated sweat glands (HASG) was determined and average sweat gland flow (SGF) was calculated for the scapular area. Although no differences between age groups were found in HR response (when analyzed as percent of maximal HR) or T̄(sk), the older women had a significantly higher T(re) throughout the heat-exercise session. The greater heat storage of the older women may be explained by their significantly lower Ṁ(sw) and ṁ(sw). There were no differences between the younger and older women in the density of HASG after 30 min; therefore, the lower ṁ(sw) reflects a diminished output per HASG rather than a decrease in the number of sweat glands recruited. The diminished thermoregulatory ability of the older women, unrelated to differences in V̇O2(max), appears to reflect either 1) a diminished response of the sweat glands to central and/or peripheral stimuli, or 2) an age-related structural alteration in the eccrine glands or surrounding skin cells.",
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Effect of age on heat-activated sweat gland density and flow during exercise in dry heat. / Anderson, R. K.; Kenney, Jr., William Lawrence.

In: Journal of applied physiology, Vol. 63, No. 3, 01.12.1987, p. 1089-1094.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Effect of age on heat-activated sweat gland density and flow during exercise in dry heat

AU - Anderson, R. K.

AU - Kenney, Jr., William Lawrence

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