Gender differences in respiratory muscle function following exhaustive exercise



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Texas Tech University


Gender differences in muscle fatigue have shown females to exhibit a greater fatigue resistance in human skeletal musculature. To our knowledge, gender differences in the respiratory musculature have not been examined. The purpose of this study is to determine if gender differences are present in the magnitude and/or time course of recovery from respiratory muscle fatigue (RMF) following exhaustive exercise. Sixteen untrained (female, n=8; male, n=8) subjects performed two constant-load breathing tests for breathing endurance measurements (Tlim) pre- and post- an endurance exercise test (EET). Maximal inspiratory pressures (PImax) were determined pre- and immediately post-EET with recovery measurements taken 15 min, 25 min and 35 min post-exercise. Differences in Tlim and PImax before and after the EET were determined with a 2-way repeated measure ANOVA. No significant differences were found in Tlim between or within genders (p>0.05). Both genders exhibited a similar reduction in PImax following the EET (females 11%, males 13%, p<0.05) with females having a significantly slower recovery rate demonstrating greater RMF. In conclusion, findings suggest that fatigue resistance is not present in the respiratory musculature of females.