Effect of Gender on Reactivity to Cold Stress in Young Medical Students

  • Ritu Bajpai Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Ananta Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Center, Rajsamand.
  • Chanda Rajak Professor, Department of Physiology, Shyam Shah Medical College, Rewa.
Keywords: Cold pressor test, gender, hypertension.


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.


Download data is not yet available.


1. Bullock BL, Vidmar P. Concept of stress, exercise& sleep. In: BullockBL, Henze RL (Eds.). Focus on Pathophysiology. Philadelphia: Lippincott. 1999; 138-155.
2. Joan P. Frizzell Handbook of Pathophysiology (January 15, 2001) Pg-9-10.
3. Douglas L. Wood, M.D., Sheldon G Sheps, M. D. Lila R Elveback, Ph.D. and Alexander Schirger M. D. Cold Pressor test as a predictor of Hypertension division of cardiovascular disease and internal medicine and the department of medical statistics and epidemiology mayo clinic and mayo foundation, Rochester Minnesota December 12, 1982
4. Yates M R and Wood J E Jr : Vasomotor response of non hypertensive individuals to a standard cold stimulus .Proc. Soc. Exper. Biol.& med. 34:560-562,1936.
5. ArnljotFlaa; Ivar K. Eide; Sverre E. Kjeldsen; Morten Rostrupfrom cardiovascular and Renal research Centre and Deptt of Acute Medicine, Nephrology and Cardiology, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. http:/hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/52/2/336.
6. Kilogour RD, Carvalho J. Gender differences in cardiovascular responses to the cold hand pressor test and facial cooling. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1994; 72(10):1193-99.
7. Luan Nascimento da Silva1 , Enyo Rodolpho Carvalho Guimarães Melo1 , Tannara Patrícia Silva Costa1 , Paloma Sousa Nogueira1 , Jefferson Carlos Araújo Silva1 , Fuad Ahmad Hazime1. Influence of gender on cold-induced pain Influência do gênero na dor induzida pelo frio .Rev Dor. São Paulo, 2016 oct-dec;17(4):266-9.
8. Hurley RW, Adams MC. Sex, gender, and pain: an overview of a complex field. Anesth Analg.2008;107(1):309-17.
9. Feldner MT, Hekmat H. Perceived control over anxiety-related events as a predictor of pain behaviors in a cold pressor task. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2001;32(4):191-202.
10. Pierre-Julien Moro, Antonin Flavian, Alexis Jacquier, Frank Kober, Jacques Quilici, Bénédicte Gaborit, Jean-Louis Bonnet, Guy Moulin, Patrick J Cozzone, and Monique Bernard.Gender differences in response to cold pressor test assessed with velocity-encoded cardiovascular magnetic resonance of the coronary sinus. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2011; 13(1): 54.]
11. Mahalakshmamma V & Sukumar CD., Sch. J. App. Med. Sci., Aug 2016; 4(8C):2943-2946.
12. RD. Srivastava, Manoj Kumar, Rajiv Shinghal,A. P. Sahay. Influence of Age and Gender on Cold Pressor Response in Indian population. Indian J physiol Pharmacol 2010;54(2):174-78.
13. McLean JK, Sathasivam P, MacNaughton K, Graham TE. Cardiovascular and norepinephrine responses of men and women to two cold pressor tests. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1992; 70(1):36-42.
14. Rachel M. Stone, Philip N. Ainslie, Thijs P. Kerstens , Kevin W. Wildfong, Michael M. Tymko. Sex differences in the circulatory responses to an isocapnic cold pressor test. Experimental Physiology / Volume 104, Issue 3. https://doi.org/10.1113/EP087232.
How to Cite
Bajpai R, Rajak C. Effect of Gender on Reactivity to Cold Stress in Young Medical Students. Int Arch BioMed Clin Res [Internet]. 2019Dec.24 [cited 2020Sep.18];5(4):HP1-HP2. Available from: https://iabcr.org/index.php/iabcr/article/view/541
ORIGINAL ARTICLES ~ Human Physiology