We wanted to know if sea-level mine workers exposed previously to chronic intermittent hypoxia reached a steady acclimatization at 36 months under hypobaric hypoxia. An intermittently exposed group of mine workers (IE, n = 25) were subjected to submaximal exercise (100 W) at 4500 m. Their systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), and hemoglobin oxygen saturation (HbSatO2) were monitored. Two comparison groups of unacclimatized sea-level workers (n = 17) were studied. A nonexposed group (NE) performed 5 min of submaximal exercise at sea level. Some kind of exercise was performed both by an acutely exposed group (AE) and IE group at 4500 m. No statistical differences were found for HR, SBP, and DBP (p > 0.05) during exercise between IE and AE groups. Resting HbSatO2 of IE (87 ± 6%) was lower than NE (97 ± 3%) (p < 0.05), but was higher than AE (82 ± 4%) (p < 0.05). Tn the exercise condition, HbSatO2 of IE (85 ± 5%) was lower than NE (95 ± 3%) (p < 0.05), but was higher than AE (76 ± 2%) (p < 0.05). These responses were maintained through the 6 months of the study period. Thus, mine workers subjected to intermittent hypobaric condition for 3 years showed a good degree of acclimatization that was maintained through time.
- Cardiovascular response
- Oxygen saturation