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Comparison Of Physiological Responses Of Women And Men To Isometric Exercise.

J. Petrofsky, R. Burse, A. Lind
Published 1975 · Chemistry, Medicine

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The volunteers for this study were 83 women, aged 19-65 yr, drawn from several different occupations. Three minutes after exerting maximal handgrip strength (MVC) each subject held a tension of 40 percent MVC to fatigue. Blood pressures and heart rates were measured before, during, and after the endurance of contraction. Age was associated with a reduction of strength of the women, whereas their endurance at 40 percent at 40 per cent MVC increased. There was evidence that menopause enhanced those age effects for strength and endurance. At rest, age was associated with a decreased heart rate. As expected, the heart rates of all the women increased during the endurance contraction. But that increase was greater for the younger than for the older women, thereby exaggerating the difference due to age already seen at rest. Systolic blood pressure at rest was higher with age and, in a similar manner, that relationship was also exaggerated throughout the isometric contraction. Diastolic blood pressure, however, was not changed with age at rest, and although the diastolic pressure increased during the isometric exercise, the rate of increase was unaffected by age. The results obtained are compared with those from a similarly large number of men examined in identical circumstances.

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