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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000 Jun;82(3):161-9.

Effects of physical and apnea training on apneic time and the diving response in humans.

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  • 1Department of Animal Physiology, Lund University, Sweden. erika.schagatay@zoofys.lu.se


The aim of this investigation was to study separately the effects of physical training and apnea training on the diving response and apneic time in humans. Both types of training have been suggested to lead to prolonged apneic time and an increased "diving response" (i.e., regional vasoconstriction and bradycardia). The study was also designed to examine the effects of these two types of training on the characteristics of the increase in apneic time with repeated apneas. Simulated diving tests were performed before and after the different training programs. The test format was one apnea and five apneas with facial immersion in cold water at 2-min intervals. An increase in apneic time was observed after physical training (n = 24), and this was attributable to an increased time beyond the physiological breaking point. The other parameters that were measured remained unaffected. After apnea training (n = 9), however, apneic time was increased by a delay in the physiological breaking point, which is mainly determined by the arterial tension of CO2. The diving response had increased, and the effect of repeated apneas on apneic time tended to be larger after apnea training. These results may explain the pronounced diving responses and long apneas observed in trained apneic divers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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