Objective: Several stressors such as cold water immersion, hyperoxic exposure and decompression-induced circulating bubbles can alter arterial circulation after a dive. The aim of this study was to investigate the arterial modifications induced by a specific diving training including repeated hyperbaric exposures and physical training.
Method: Arterial pressure measurement and pulse wave velocity (PWV) recordings were performed in 12 student military divers before and after 15 weeks’ training. The results were compared with the same investigations performed in 12 non-diver healthy subjects.
Results: A decrease in systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure was observed at both upper and lower limbs in student military divers after the training. Non-significant decreases in both carotido-femoral PWV and carotido-pedal PWV were found after the training. When the pulse time transit was divided by the cardiac cycle length between two R peaks ((RR) interval), a significant increase was observed between the carotid and femoral sensors. On the other hand, some differences were noticed between military divers and controls. Controls and divers were matched appropriately according to age and height, although the divers had a higher aerobic capacity as well as lower resting heart rate and lower pulse wave velocity.
Conclusion: In trained military subjects, a training which includes repeated diving exposures and endurance exercises leads to vascular modifications suggesting an increase in central arterial compliance. There was no sign of arterial alteration induced by repeated diving exposures.
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Competing interests: None declared.