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Residential altitude associates with endurance but not muscle power in young Swiss men


Gassmann, Norina N; Matthes, Katarina L; Eppenberger, Patrick; Brabec, Marek; Panczak, Radoslav; Zwahlen, Marcel; Bender, Nicole; Wyss, Thomas; Rühli, Frank J; Staub, Kaspar (2020). Residential altitude associates with endurance but not muscle power in young Swiss men. Frontiers in Physiology, 11:860.

Abstract

Introduction: Physical fitness benefits health. However, there is a research gap on how physical fitness, particularly aerobic endurance capacity and muscle power, is influenced by residential altitude, blood parameters, weight, and other cofactors in a population living at low to moderate altitudes (300–2100 masl).
Materials and Methods: We explored how endurance and muscle power performance changes with residential altitude, Body Mass Index (BMI), hemoglobin and creatinine levels among 108,677 Swiss men aged 18–22 years (covering >90% of Swiss birth cohorts) conscripted to the Swiss Armed Forces between 2007 and 2012. The test battery included a blood test of about 65%, a physical evaluation of about 85%, and the BMI of all conscripts.
Results: Residential altitude was significantly associated with endurance (p < 0.001) but not with muscle power performance (p = 0.858) after adjusting for all available cofactors. Higher BMI showed the greatest negative association with both endurance and muscle power performance. For muscle power performance, the association with creatinine levels was significant. Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and hemoglobin levels were stronger contributors in explaining endurance than muscle power performance.
Conclusion: We found a significant association between low to moderate residential altitude and aerobic endurance capacity even after adjustment for hemoglobin, creatinine, BMI and sociodemographic factors. Non-assessed factors such as vitamin D levels, air pollution, and lifestyle aspects may explain the presented remaining association partially and could also be associated with residential altitude. Monitoring the health and fitness of young people and their determinants is important and of practical concern for disease prevention and public health implications.

Abstract

Introduction: Physical fitness benefits health. However, there is a research gap on how physical fitness, particularly aerobic endurance capacity and muscle power, is influenced by residential altitude, blood parameters, weight, and other cofactors in a population living at low to moderate altitudes (300–2100 masl).
Materials and Methods: We explored how endurance and muscle power performance changes with residential altitude, Body Mass Index (BMI), hemoglobin and creatinine levels among 108,677 Swiss men aged 18–22 years (covering >90% of Swiss birth cohorts) conscripted to the Swiss Armed Forces between 2007 and 2012. The test battery included a blood test of about 65%, a physical evaluation of about 85%, and the BMI of all conscripts.
Results: Residential altitude was significantly associated with endurance (p < 0.001) but not with muscle power performance (p = 0.858) after adjusting for all available cofactors. Higher BMI showed the greatest negative association with both endurance and muscle power performance. For muscle power performance, the association with creatinine levels was significant. Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and hemoglobin levels were stronger contributors in explaining endurance than muscle power performance.
Conclusion: We found a significant association between low to moderate residential altitude and aerobic endurance capacity even after adjustment for hemoglobin, creatinine, BMI and sociodemographic factors. Non-assessed factors such as vitamin D levels, air pollution, and lifestyle aspects may explain the presented remaining association partially and could also be associated with residential altitude. Monitoring the health and fitness of young people and their determinants is important and of practical concern for disease prevention and public health implications.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Physiology (medical), Physiology
Language:English
Date:23 July 2020
Deposited On:28 Jul 2020 17:05
Last Modified:14 Sep 2020 13:00
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-042X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00860

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