Seasonal variation in sweating responses of older and younger men

  • Yoshimitsu Inoue
  • Mikio Nakao
  • Syozo Okudaira
  • Hiroyuki Ueda
  • Tsutomu Araki
Original Article


Eight older (60–65 years) and six younger (20–25 years) men were exposed to a standard heat stress for 60 min in summer, autumn, winter, and spring. The test consisted of placing the lower legs and feet in a 42°C water bath while sitting in constant environmental conditions (30°C and 45% relative humidity). The increase of rectal temperature (ΔTre) was significantly greater (P < 0.05) in autumn, winter, and spring than in summer for the older group, but significantly greater only in winter than in summer for the younger group (P < 0.05). The ΔTre was greater for the older group in all seasons, but of significance only in autumn and spring (P < 0.01). There were no significant season-related differences for metabolic heat production (m) and mean skin temperature (\(\overline T \)sk) during the heat test in the respective groups, although the m and\(\overline T \)sk were lower for the older group in all seasons (P < 0.01). In the older group total body sweating rate (msw) divided by ΔTre (total mswTre) decreased from summer to winter (P < 0.02) and did not differ between winter and spring, whereas total mswTre in the younger group increased in spring after decreasing from autumn to winter (P < 0.03). The variations of the value, local sweating rate on the back and thigh divided by ΔTre (back mswTre and thigh mswTre), were similar to those of the total mswTre in each group, except for back mswTre in the younger group, which did not increase from winter to spring. The total mswTre, back mswTre and thigh mswTre were significantly less for the older group in summer, autumn and spring (P < 0.05). The range of seasonal variations was significantly less for the older group (P < 0.001). The results indicated that, compared with younger men in older men, the enhancement of sweating function toward summer occurred later and its reduction toward winter occurred earlier despite a smaller range of seasonal variation and that older men had a somewhat lesser capability to maintainTre when challenged by heat stress in all seasons.

Key words

Human Aging Heat acclimatization Sweating Rectal temperature 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshimitsu Inoue
    • 1
  • Mikio Nakao
    • 2
  • Syozo Okudaira
    • 3
  • Hiroyuki Ueda
    • 4
  • Tsutomu Araki
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of HygieneKobe University School of MedicineKobeJapan
  2. 2.Osaka University of EconomicsOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Hyogo University of Teacher EducationKato-gunJapan
  4. 4.Osaka Shin-ai CollegeOsakaJapan

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