Water ingestion affects orthostatic challenge-induced blood pressure and heart rate responses in young healthy subjects: gender implications

  • LA Olatunji
  • AO Aaron
  • OS Michael
  • IP Oyeyipo

Abstract

Evidence exists that women have lower orthostatic tolerance than men during quiescent standing. Water ingestion has been demonstrated to improve orthostatic tolerance in patients with severe autonomic dysfunction. We therefore sought to test the hypothesis that water ingestion would improve orthostatic tolerance in healthy young women more than in aged-matched men. Thirty seven (22 men and 15 women) healthy subjects aged 22.5± 1.7 and 21.5±1.4 (means±SD) respectively, ingested 50ml (control) and 500ml of water 40min before orthostatic challenge on two separate days of appointment in a randomized controlled, cross-over design. Seated and standing blood pressure and heart rate were determined. Orthostatic tolerance was assessed as the time to presyncope during standing. Ingesting 500ml of water significantly improves orthostatic tolerance by 22% (32.0 ± 5.2 vs 26.2 ± 2.4min; p< 0.05) in men and by 33% (24.2±2.8 vs 18.3 ± 3.2; p< 0.05) in women. Thirty minutes after ingesting 500ml of water, seated systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure and mean arterial pressure rose significantly in men while only systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure rose significantly in women. However ingesting 500ml of water did not have significant effect on seated heart rate in both men and women. Ingestion of 500ml of water significantly attenuated both the orthostatic challenge-induced increased heart rate and decreased pulse pressure responses especially in women. Diastolic blood pressure tended to be positively correlated with orthostatic tolerance strongly in men than in women. Pulse pressure correlated positively while heart rate correlated negatively to orthostatic tolerance in women but not in men independent of other correlates. Water ingestion is associated with orthostatic tolerance strongly in women but weakly in men independent of other correlates. In conclusion, the findings in the present study demonstrated that water ingestion caused improvement strongly in young women than in young men. This improvement is associated with increased pulse pressure and decreased tachycardiac responses during orthostatic challenge.

Keywords: Gender, Heart rate, orthostatic challenge, Pulse pressure, Water ingestion

Nig. J. Physiol. Sci. 26(June 2011) 011 – 018

Author Biographies

LA Olatunji
Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
AO Aaron
Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
OS Michael
Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
IP Oyeyipo
Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria
Published
2013-01-24
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 0794-859X