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Identification of Critical Thermal Environments for Aged Adults

The earth’s climate is warming, and the number of heat waves has increased in recent years. At the same time, the number of adults over the age of 65 is growing. Humans sweat and increase blood flow to the skin to cool their body when they get hot. Older adults do not do this as well as young adults. This makes it harder to safely exercise in warm and/or humid conditions. It is important to learn about safe limits of heat and humidity for older adults to exercise. Also, nearly 40% of adults over age 50 take aspirin to lower their risk for heart disease. Our lab has shown that aspirin lowers the control of body heat. In this study, we will determine critical temperature and humidity environments above which normal body temperature cannot be maintained in young and older adults. We will also look at how aspirin may change critical temperature and humidity thresholds in older adults.
Susan Slimak at sks31@psu.edu
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18 year(s) or older
This study is also accepting healthy volunteers
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Inclusion Criteria:
Healthy subjects 18-30 or 65-85 years of age
Non-obese
Normal blood glucose (HbA1C <5.7%)
Normal cholesterol (LDL cholesterol <180 mg/dl)
Asymptomatic and no signs/symptoms of disease
Exclusion Criteria:
Have any conditions to advise against low-intensity physical activity
Received a prior diagnosis of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome
Medications that could alter cardiovascular responses or body temperature regulation during exercise (blood pressure reducers, fever reducers, anti-depressants, etc.)
Tobacco or recreational drug use
Post-menopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy
Heart & Vascular, Sports Medicine
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Location
State College, PA