The cardiovascular capacities of adults with Down syndrome: a comparative study

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Pitetti, K, Climstein, M, Campbell, K, Barrett, PJ & Jackson, J 1992, 'The cardiovascular capacities of adults with Down syndrome: a comparative study', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 13-19.

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The cardiovascular capacities of adults with Down syndrome: a comparative study. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 24, No. l, pp. 13-19, 1992. The purpose of this study was to compare the cardiovascular capacities of individuals with Down syndrome (DS) to individuals without Down syndrome who are mentally retarded. Sixteen young adults with DS and 16 individuals without DS (12 males and 4 females, respectively), all with mild/moderate mental retardation, participated in this study. Peak VO2 (absolute and relative), VE (I-min-1), heart rate (HR, b [middle dot] min-1), and RER (VCO2/VO2) were determined by exercise tests utilizing a treadmill (TM) and Schwinn Air-Dyne ergometer (SAE). The best test result was chosen from the TM and SAE tests and used for statistical comparisons. Cardiac output (Q, 1 +/- min-1) was measured while standing quietly and while walking at 3 mph, 0% grade, using the CO2 rebreathing method for 11 (9 males and 2 females) subjects from each group. Arteriovenous oxygen differences (a-v O2, cardiac index (QI), and stroke volume (SV) were calculated from VO2, Q, HR, and body surface area. Peripheral vascular resistance (PVR), left ventricular work index (LVWI), and left ventricular stroke work index (LVSWI) were calculated from mean arterial pressure, Q, QI, and stroke volume index. Results showed that individuals without DS had statistically significant (P < 0.01) higher mean peak VO2 (35.6 vs 24.6 ml [middle dot] kg-1 +/- min-1 +/- 2567 vs 1683 ml [middle dot] min-1 VE (89.3 vs 59.21/min-1), and HR (179 vs 159 b [middle dot] min-1) than individuate with DS, respectively. No differences in RER were seen between the groups. No differences were seen in cardiovascular parameters measured while quietly standing. When walking at 3 mph, 0% grade, subjects with DS demonstrated significantly higher mean Q, HR, QI, and LVWI and lower PVR when compared with the subjects without DS. Results of this study strongly suggest that differences do exist between individuals with and without DS in regard to exercise capacities and cardiovascular responses to exercise.

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