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Michael R.M. McGuigan, Roger Bronks, Robert U. Newton, John C. Graham, and David V. Cody

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is associated with impaired lower extremity function. This study investigated differences in PAD and control participants and the relationship between lower limb strength and clinical measures of PAD severity. Participants were evaluated by 6-min-walk distance, normal and maximal walking speed over 10 m, isometric plantar-flexion strength, and dynamic dorsi-/plantar-flexion strength. Hemodynamic measures of the lower limbs were recorded at rest and after maximal treadmill testing. PAD participants walked significantly less far during the 6-min walk, and there were large differences in normal and maximal walking speeds. Small to moderate differences were found for isometric plantar-flexion strength. In the diseased legs of the PAD participants, resting systolic hallux photoplethysmography was significantly correlated with isokinetic plantar-flexion strength and onset of claudication pain during the 6-min-walk test. In addition to confirming the documented loss of walking endurance, these data suggest that loss of strength of the plantar flexors is associated with increasing PAD impairment.

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Lindsey E. Miller, Graham R. McGinnis, Brian Kliszczewicz, Dustin Slivka, Walter Hailes, John Cuddy, Charles Dumke, Brent Ruby, and John C. Quindry

Oxidative stress occurs as a result of altitude-induced hypobaric hypoxia and physical exercise. The effect of exercise on oxidative stress under hypobaric hypoxia is not well understood.

Purpose:

To determine the effect of high-altitude exercise on blood oxidative stress. Nine male participants completed a 2-d trek up and down Mt Rainer, in North America, at a peak altitude of 4,393 m. Day 1 consisted of steady-pace climbing for 6.25 hr to a final elevation of 3,000 m. The 4,393-m summit was reached on Day 2 in approximately 5 hr. Climb–rest intervals varied but were consistent between participants, with approximately 14 hr of total time including rest periods. Blood samples were assayed for biomarkers of oxidative stress and antioxidant potential at the following time points: Pre (before the trek), 3Kup (at ascent to 3,000 m), 3Kdown (at 3,000 m on the descent), and Post (posttrek at base elevation). Blood serum variables included ferric-reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP), Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), protein carbonyls (PC), and lipid hydroperoxides. Serum FRAP was elevated at 3Kup and 3Kdown compared with Pre and Post values (p = .004, 8% and 11% increase from Pre). Serum TEAC values were increased at 3Kdown and Post (p = .032, 10% and 18% increase from Pre). Serum PC were elevated at 3Kup and 3Kdown time points (p = .034, 194% and 138% increase from Pre), while lipid hydroperoxides were elevated Post only (p = .004, 257% increase from Pre).

Conclusions:

Findings indicate that high-altitude trekking is associated with increased blood oxidative stress.