Effect of Gender on Reactivity to Cold Stress in Young Medical Students
Background: Previous studies have found contradictory results in reactivity pattern in males and females to cold pressor test . It is important to understand these differences and its subsequent relevance in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension and coronary artery disease.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of gender on reactivity to cold pressor test in young healthy medical students.
Methods: 94 young medical students in the age group of 17 to 27 years were subjected to cold pressor test and the systolic and diastolic blood pressure recorded before and after the test.
Results: The mean systolic rise of blood pressure was found to be 13.63 ± 9.71mm Hg in females as compared to 12.31 ± 5.79 mm Hg in males. The mean diastolic rise in blood pressure was 9.71 ± 4.58 mm Hg in females as compared to 8.84 ± 4.14 mm Hg in males. The difference of mean for both mean systolic and diastolic rise of blood pressure in male and female subjects was not found to be statistically significant (p value = >0.1). The percentage of female hyper-reactors (36%) was found to be more than male hyper-reactors (31%).
Conclusions: No statically significant difference was found in the reactivity to cold pressor test between males and females. The percentage of female hyper-reactors was more probably due to lower threshold to cold induced pain.
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