The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to determine the reflexive HR responses of 10 young adults (mean age = 18.6 ± 3 years) with Down syndrome (DS) to short, intense field tests, and (b) to compare the HR responses of the subjects in this study to previous studies that reported peak HR responses of young adults with DS during maximal treadmill exercise tests. Each subject performed a 300-yd (274-m) run and the Leger and Lambert shuttle run twice on separate days. Heart rates were recorded by telemetry every 50 yd (45.7 m) during the 300-yd run and every minute for the shuttle run. The mean HRs seen throughout both field tests were equal to or higher than peak HRs previously reported. The peak HRs observed were 10 to 30 bpm higher than those peak HRs previously reported for persons with DS of similar age during a maximal treadmill exercise test. The results of this study suggest that low peak HRs may not be specific or unique to the condition of DS.
Ana Marie Varela is with Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. Kenneth H. Pitetti is with the College of Health Professions, Wichita State University, Campus Box 43, Wichita, KS 67260-0043. Address correspondence to Kenneth H. Pitetti.