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Ozone Exposure Limits Cardiorespiratory Function During Maximal Cycling Exercise in Endurance Athletes / Ozone Exposure Limits Cardiorespiratory Function During Maximal Cycling Exercise in Endurance Athletes.

  • Harris, Owen
  • Gonçalves, Patric E.O.
  • Hung, Andy
  • Stothers, Bennett
  • Bougault, Valérie
  • Sheel, A. William
  • Koehle, Michael
Publication Date
Apr 25, 2024
DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00085.2024
PMID: 38660726
OAI: oai:HAL:hal-04564601v1
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Ground-level ozone (O 3 ) is a potent air pollutant well recognized to acutely induce adverse respiratory symptoms and impairments in pulmonary function. However, it is unclear how the hyperpnea of exercise may modulate these effects, and the subsequent consequences on exercise performance. We tested the hypothesis that pulmonary function and exercise capability would be diminished, and symptom development would be increased during peak real-world levels of O 3 exposure compared to room air. Twenty aerobically trained participants [13M, 7F; maximal O 2 uptake (O 2max ), 64.1 ± 7.0 mL·kg -1 ·min -1 )] completed a three-visit double-blinded, randomized crossover trial. Following a screening visit, participants were exposed to 170 ppb O 3 or room air (<10 ppb O 3 ) on separate visits during exercise trials, consisting of a 25-minute moderate intensity warmup, 30-minute heavy intensity bout, and a subsequent time-to-exhaustion (TTE) performance test. No differences in O 2 uptake or ventilation were observed during submaximal exercise between conditions. During the TTE test, we observed significantly lower end-exercise O 2 uptake (-3.2 ± 4.3%, p=0.004), minute ventilation (-3.2 ± 6.5%, p=0.043), tidal volume (-3.6 ± 5.1%, p=0.008), and a trend towards lower exercise duration in O 3 compared to room air (-10.8 ± 26.5%, p=0.092). As decreases in O 2 uptake and alterations in respiratory pattern were also present at matched time segments between conditions, a limitation of oxygen transport seems likely during maximal exercise. A more comprehensive understanding of the direct mechanisms that limit oxygen transport during exercise in high-pollutant concentrations is key for mitigating performance changes.

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