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K-State Today

May 9, 2016

Participants ages 60 years and older needed for kinesiology research study

Submitted by Stephanie Kurti

The kinesiology department seeks participants ages 60 years and older for a research study investigating function of the airways. Participants must not currently participate in a regular exercise program.

The study requires one visit to a laboratory that will last approximately two-and-half hours. Participants will perform a short exercise test, and receive a health assessment and a scan to assess bone mineral density and body fat percentage. This scan would normally cost more than $100. The study must be completed by the end of June. Please contact Stephanie Kurti at stephkurti@k-state.edu if you are interested and would like a spot in the study, want more information, or need to determine if you qualify.

All tests measure airway function and are simple and noninvasive. About two weeks to one month after completion of the study, participants will receive a packet with their health information and an explanation of the results.

The purpose of the study is to investigate whether activity level is associated with oxidative stress — or chemical entities that cause deleterious health effects — in the airways and systemically. Oxidative stress is associated with most pathologies.

At the laboratory, we will take participants' resting blood pressure and a baseline blood draw with a small needle — only about 3-5 milliliters of blood is necessary. Participants also will perform several airway tests, including standard pulmonary function tests in which participants will maximally inhale, forcefully exhale and hold, and then maximally inhale again. The tests will be performed before and after exercise.

Then, we will take measurements of oxidative stress in the exhaled breath. For this test, participants will simply sit in a chair and breathe normally for 10 minutes into a tube, which will cool the exhaled breath. The condensate is then frozen immediately and stored for later analysis of oxidative stress in the airways. Participants also will perform a cycling test, where the watts will increase every minute by 25 watts until volitional exhaustion. Participants can stop anytime during the test if they feel uncomfortable.

Maximal oxygen consumption is the best measure of fitness level and overall health, and we will discuss participants' results with them after the session. After a cool down period, participants will repeat the experimental measures. Usually, this protocol lasts approximately two hours, and we will work around participants' schedules. 

Participants also will receive a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA scan, which lasts 10 minutes. This test is to measure body composition, including body fat percentage, lean mass and bone mineral density.

This study has been reviewed by the Institutional Review Board and has received approval #8067.