Gender affects sympathetic neurovascular control during postural stress.
Journal of gravitational physiology : a journal of the International Society for Gravitational Physiology
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Sympathetic outflow increases during head-up tilt (HUT) to stabilize blood pressure in the presence of decreases in venous return and stroke volume (SV). Otherwise, orthostatic hypotension would develop. Gender differences in orthostatic tolerance have been noted but the mechanisms are still uncertain. More recently, Waters et al. reported in a limited sample, greater susceptibility of women to demonstrate orthostatic intolerance following space flight. Therefore, it is important to understand gender differences in reflex blood pressure regulation. Recently, we reported smaller increments in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) in healthy women during graded HUT and a non-baroreflex cold pressor test. The purpose of this report is to examine the hypothesis that gender differences in blood pressure control during HUT are related to important variations in MSNA discharge patterns.