Sex difference in maximal oxygen uptake

Effect of equating haemoglobin concentration
  • Kirk Cureton
  • Phillip Bishop
  • Patricia Hutchinson
  • Hillary Newland
  • Susan Vickery
  • Linda Zwiren
Article

Summary

Ten men and 11 women were studied to determine the effect of experimentally equating haemoglobin concentration ([Hb]) on the sex difference in maximal oxygen uptake (\(\dot V_{O_{2_{\max } } } \)).\(\dot V_{O_{2_{\max } } } \) was measured on a cycle ergometer using a continuous, load-incremented protocol. The men were studied under two conditions: 1) with normal [Hb] (153 g · L−1) and 2) two days following withdrawal of blood, which reduced their mean [Hb] to exactly equal the mean of the women (134 g· L−1). Prior to blood withdrawal,\(\dot V_{O_{2_{\max } } } \) expressed in L · min−1 and relative to body weight and ride time on the cycle ergometer test were greater (p<.01) in men by 1.11 L · min−1 (47%), 4.8 ml · kg−1 min−1 (11.5%) and 5.9 min (67%), respectively, whereas\(\dot V_{O_{2_{\max } } } \) expressed relative to fat-free weight (FFW) was not significantly different. Equalizing [Hb] reduced (p<.01) the mean\(\dot V_{O_{2_{\max } } } \) of the men by 0.26 L · min−1 (7.5%), 3.2 ml · kg−1 min−1 (6.9%) or 4.1 ml · kg FFW−1 min−1 (7.7%), and ride time by 0.7 min (4.8%). Equalizing [Hb] reduced the sex difference for\(\dot V_{O_{2_{\max } } } \) less than predicted from proportional changes in the oxygen content of the arterial blood and arteriovenous oxygen content difference during maximal exercise. It was concluded that the sex difference in [Hb] accounts for a significant, but relatively small portion of the sex difference in\(\dot V_{O_{2_{\max } } } \) (L · min−1). Other factors such as the dimensions of the oxygen transport system and musculature are of greater importance.

Key words

Aerobic capacity Gender Haemoglobin concentration Oxygen transport Sex difference 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirk Cureton
    • 1
  • Phillip Bishop
    • 1
  • Patricia Hutchinson
    • 1
  • Hillary Newland
    • 1
  • Susan Vickery
    • 1
  • Linda Zwiren
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Performance LaboratoryUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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