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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2016 December;175(12):523-7


language: English

Does wearing a triathlon wetsuit influence resting blood pressure for females?

Michael SOUCY, Mihaela CIULEI, John A. MERCER

Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine whether resting blood pressure is influenced by wearing a triathlon wetsuit for females.
METHODS: Subjects (N.=12; age: 29.17±8.74 years, height 162.55±4.71 cm, mass 60.30±6.02 kg) that were able to fit into two of four available wetsuits based upon manufacturer sizing criteria volunteered to participate. Resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured at 1-, 3-, and 5-minute marks while standing and lying prone during three resting conditions (each lasting 5 minutes): No wetsuit (NWS), the smallest wetsuit (SWS), and largest wetsuit (LWS) (within manufacturer guidelines). Blood pressure recordings were averaged across the three measurements for each condition. Dependent variables (SBP, DBP) were analyzed using a 2 (position: Standing, Prone) × 3 (condition: NWS, SWS, LWS) repeated measures analysis of variance (α=0.05).
RESULTS: Neither SBP or DBP were influenced by the interaction of position and wetsuit condition (P=0.457; respectively). SBP was influenced by wetsuit condition (P=0.006) but not by position (P=0.087). DBP was not influenced by wetsuit condition (P=0.100) or position (P=0.751). Using planned comparisons, it was determined that SBP was greater while wearing either the small or large wetsuit as compared to not wearing a wetsuit while standing (P<0.05). However, SBP was not different during any of the condition comparisons while prone nor was it different between the small and large wetsuits while standing (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: SBP can increase for female subjects wearing a wetsuit. That increase, however, was not substantial for our normotensive subjects. Nevertheless, if an athlete has known hypertension, it makes sense to carefully consider how wearing a wetsuit may influence blood pressure.

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