During exercise with added dead space (DS), the exercise ventilatory response (ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2) is augmented in younger men, via short-term modulation (STM) of the exercise ventilatory response. We hypothesized that STM would be diminished or absent in older men due to age-related changes in respiratory function and ventilatory control. Men were studied at rest and during cycle exercise with and without added DS. ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2 increased progressively with increasing DS volume (p<0.01), such that CO2 was not retained with added DS versus without. Hence, the increase in ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2 was not due to increased chemoreceptor feedback from rest to exercise. Increasing exercise intensity diminished the ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO2 (p<0.01), and the size of this effect varied by DS volume (p<0.05). We conclude that STM of the exercise ventilatory response is robust in older men; hence, despite age-related changes in lung function and ventilatory control, the exercise ventilatory response can still adapt to increased DS, in order to maintain isocapnia during exercise relative to rest.
- Exercise hyperpnea
- Respiratory control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine