UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The pulmonary and autonomic effects of high-intensity and low-intensity exercise in diesel exhaust Giles, Luisa V.; Carlsten, Christopher; Koehle, Michael S


Background: Exposure to air pollution impairs aspects of pulmonary and autonomic function and causes pulmonary inflammation. However, how exercising in air pollution affects these indices is poorly understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of low-intensity and high-intensity cycling with diesel exhaust (DE) exposure on pulmonary function, heart rate variability (HRV), fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), norepinephrine and symptoms. Methods: Eighteen males performed 30-min trials of low-intensity or high-intensity cycling (30 and 60% of power at VO2peak) or a resting control condition. For each subject, each trial was performed once breathing filtered air (FA) and once breathing DE (300μg/m3 of PM2.5, six trials in total). Pulmonary function, FeNO, HRV, norepinephrine and symptoms were measured prior to, immediately post, 1 h and 2 h post-exposure. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA. Results: Throat and chest symptoms were significantly greater immediately following DE exposure than following FA (p 

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