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McNair Scholars Program

Latisha Daniels, M.B.A.

she/her

Education: Bachelor of Science in kinesiology (May 1999)

Master of Business Administration from Troy University

McNair Project: Impaired Lung Diffusion Capacity in Women During Graded Exercise (1998)

Mentor: Craig Harms, Ph.D.

It has recently been reported that many active healthy women experience significant exercise-induced arterial hypoxemia (EIAH) and at a VO2max that is substantially less than those of their active male contemporaries (Harms et al., J Physiol, 1998). Due to an excessive widening of the A-aO2 difference in those women with EIAH, we hypothesized that lung diffusion was impaired in women during exercise. To test this postulate, 6 physically active women (VO2max: 51.5 + 5.4 ml/kg/min) and 5 men (VO2max 59.0 + 5.3 ml/kg/min) all with normal resting pulmonary function each completed a graded incremental exercise test to VO2max. Metabolic measurements were determined via a breath by breath automated system (SensorMedics). Lung diffusion capacity (DLCO, corrected for [Hb]) and pulmonary blood flow (Qc; acetylene absorption) were measured at rest and during each exercise stage by the single breath exhalation method. As expected, in male subjects, DLCO increased linearly with increasing Qc during exercise. However, in our female subjects, DLCO was not related to Qc, and did not change from ~70% of VO2max (43.8 + 2.7 ml/min/mmHg) to maximal exercise (39.2 + 4.2 ml/min/mm Hg), and was significantly lower (p<0.05) than men. These preliminary data suggest that lung diffusion capacity may be compromised in active healthy women which may contribute to exercise induced arterial hypoxemia.