Effect of normobaric hypoxia on cardiorespiratory and metabolic risk markers in healthy subjects


The aims of this study were to investigate the influence of hypoxic physical exercise on metabolic risk markers and to compare the effects on maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), arterial stiffness, and several blood parameters to a control group training under normoxic conditions. Eight healthy men were examined. Each participant performed exercise at a heart rate (HR) corresponding to 60% of the HR at VO2max on a treadmill device for 50 min (including 5 min warm-up and 5 min cool-down) after 30 min rest, on 3 days per week, for 4 weeks, in either normobaric hypoxia or normobaric normoxia. Each participant performed the exercise program under both environmental conditions with a wash-out period of 4 months. Brachial ankle pulse wave velocity after training was significantly lower in the hypoxic group than in the normoxic group (P = 0.02). The VO2max in the hypoxic group was significantly higher after than before training (P = 0.04). Our results suggest that hypoxic training may more effectively reduce arterial stiffness and improve cardiorespiratory function compared with training performed at the same relative exercise intensity under normoxic conditions.

Share and Cite:

Shi, B. , Watanabe, T. , Shin, S. , Yabumoto, T. and Matsuoka, T. (2013) Effect of normobaric hypoxia on cardiorespiratory and metabolic risk markers in healthy subjects. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 340-345. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.43044.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Magliano, D.J., Shaw, J.E. and Zimmet, P.Z. (2006) How to best define the metabolic syndrome. Annals of Medicine, 38, 34-41. doi:10.1080/07853890500300311
[2] Alberti, K.G., Eckel, R.H., Grundy, S.M., Zimmet, P.Z., Cleeman, J.I., Donato, K.A., Fruchart, J.C., James, W.P., Loria, C.M. and Smith Jr., S.C. (2009) Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome: A joint interim statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; and International Association for the Study of Obesity. Circulation, 120, 1640-1645. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192644
[3] Eberly, L.E., Prineas, R., Cohen, J.D., Vazquez, G., Zhi, X., Neaton, J.D. and Kuller, L.H. (2006) Metabolic syndrome: risk factor distribution and 18-year mortality in the multiple risk factor intervention trial. Diabetes Care, 29. 123-130. doi:10.2337/diacare.29.01.06.dc05-1320
[4] Braz, N.F., Carneiro, M.V., Oliveira-Ferreira, F., Arrieiro, A.N., Amorim, F.T., Lima, M.M., Avelar, N.C., Lacerda, A.C. and Peixoto, M.F. (2012) Influence of aerobic training on cardiovascular and metabolic parameters in ederly hypertensive women. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 652-659.
[5] Ha, C.H. and So, W.Y. (2012) Effects of combined exercise training on body composition and metabolic syndrome factors. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 41, 20- 26.
[6] Becker-Grunig, T., Klose, H., Ehlken, N., Lichtblau, M., Nagel, C., Fischer, C., Gorenflo, M., Tiede, H., Schranz, D., Hager, A., Kaemmerer, H., Miera, O., Ulrich, S., Speich, R., Uiker, S. and Grunig, E. (2012) Efficacy of exercise training in pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with congenital heart disease. International Journal of Cardiology. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.09.036
[7] Voulgari, C., Pagoni, S., Vinik, A. and Poirier, P. (2012) Exercise improves cardiac autonomic function in obesity and diabetes. Metabolism. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2012.09.005
[8] Yoshida, H., Ishikawa, T., Suto, M., Kurosawa, H., Hirowatari, Y., Ito, K., Yanai, H., Tada, N. and Suzuki, M. (2010) Effects of supervised aerobic exercise training on serum adiponectin and parameters of lipid and glucose metabolism in subjects with moderate dyslipidemia. Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis, 17, 1160-1166. doi:10.5551/jat.4358
[9] Guo, W., Kawano, H., Piao, L., Itoh, N., Node, K. and Sato, T. (2011) Effects of aerobic exercise on lipid profiles and high molecular weight adiponectin in Japanese workers. Internal Medicine, 50, 389-395. doi:10.2169/internalmedicine.50.4380
[10] Hendriksen, I.J. and Meeuwsen, T. (2003) The effect of intermittent training in hypobaric hypoxia on sea-level exercise: A cross-over study in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 88, 396-403. doi:10.1007/s00421-002-0708-z
[11] Dufour, S.P., Ponsot, E., Zoll, J., Doutreleau, S., Lons-dorfer-Wolf, E., Geny, B., Lampert, E., Fluck, M., Hoppeler, H., Billat, V., Mettauer, B., Richard, R. and Lonsdorfer, J. (2006) Exercise training in normobaric hypoxia in endurance runners. I. Improvement in aerobic performance capacity. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100, 1238-1248. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00742.2005
[12] Roels, B., Bentley, D.J., Coste, O., Mercier, J. and Millet, G.P. (2007) Effects of intermittent hypoxic training on cycling performance in well-trained athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 101, 359-368. doi:10.1007/s00421-007-0506-8
[13] Haufe, S., Wiesner, S., Engeli, S., Luft, F.C. and Jordan, J. (2008) Influences of normobaric hypoxia training on metabolic risk markers in human subjects. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40, 1939-1944. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31817f1988
[14] Netzer, N.C., Chytra, R. and Kupper, T. (2008) Low intense physical exercise in normobaric hypoxia leads to more weight loss in obese people than low intense physical exercise in normobaric sham hypoxia. Sleep Breath, 12, 129-134. doi:10.1007/s11325-007-0149-3
[15] Wiesner, S., Haufe, S., Engeli, S., Mutschler, H., Haas, U., Luft, F.C. and Jordan, J. (2010) Influences of normobaric hypoxia training on physical fitness and metabolic risk markers in overweight to obese subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring), 18, 116-120. doi:10.1038/oby.2009.193
[16] Vedam, H., Phillips, C.L., Wang, D., Barnes, D.J., Hedner, J.A., Unger, G. and Grunstein, R.R. (2009) Shortterm hypoxia reduces arterial stiffness in healthy men. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 105, 19-25. doi:10.1007/s00421-008-0868-6
[17] Nishiwaki, M., Kawakami, R., Saito, K., Tamaki, H., Takekura, H. and Ogita, F. (2011) Vascular adaptations to hypobaric hypoxic training in postmenopausal women. Journal of Physiological Sciences, 61, 83-91. doi:10.1007/s12576-010-0126-7
[18] Benso, A., Broglio, F., Aimaretti, G., Lucatello, B., Lanfranco, F., Ghigo, E. and Grottoli, S. (2007) Endocrine and metabolic responses to extreme altitude and physical exercise in climbers. European Journal of Endocrinology, 157, 733-740. doi:10.1530/EJE-07-0355
[19] Westerterp, K.R. (2001) Energy and water balance at high altitude. News in Physiological Science, 16, 134-137.
[20] Pollock, M.L., Wilmore, J.H. and Fox, S.M. (1984) Exercise in health and disease: Evaluation and prescription for prevention and rehabilitation. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.
[21] Suzuki, R., Watanabe, S., Hirai, Y., Akiyama, K., Nishide, T., Matsushima, Y., Murayama, H., Ohshima, H., Shinomiya, M., Shirai, K., Saito, Y., Yoshida, S., Saisho, H. and Ohto, M. (1993) Abdominal wall fat index, estimated by ultrasonography, for assessment of the ratio of visceral fat to subcutaneous fat in the abdomen. American Journal of Medicine, 95, 309-314. doi:10.1016/0002-9343(93)90284-V
[22] Yamashina, A., Tomiyama, H., Takeda, K., Tsuda, H., Arai, T., Hirose, K., Koji, Y., Hori, S. and Yamamoto, Y. (2002) Validity, reproducibility, and clinical significance of noninvasive brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity measurement. Hypertension Research, 25, 359-364. doi:10.1291/hypres.25.359
[23] Church, T.S., Cheng, Y.J., Earnest, C.P., Barlow, C.E., Gibbons, L.W., Priest, E.L. and Blair, S.N. (2004) Exercise capacity and body composition as predictors of mortality among men with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 27, 83-88. doi:10.2337/diacare.27.1.83
[24] Wei, M., Gibbons, L.W., Kampert, J.B., Nichaman, M.Z. and Blair, S.N. (2000) Low cardiorespiratory fitness and physical inactivity as predictors of mortality in men with type 2 diabetes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 132, 605-611.
[25] Hu, F.B., Stampfer, M.J., Solomon, C., Liu, S., Colditz, G.A., Speizer, F.E., Willett, W.C. and Manson, J.E. (2001) Physical activity and risk for cardiovascular events in diabetic women. Annals of Internal Medicine, 134, 96-105.
[26] Hassinen, M., Lakka, T.A., Hakola, L., Savonen, K., Komulainen, P., Litmanen, H., Kiviniemi, V., Kouki, R., Heikkila, H. and Rauramaa, R. (2010) Cardiorespiratory fitness and metabolic syndrome in older men and women: the dose responses to Exercise Training (DR’s EXTRA) study. Diabetes Care, 33, 1655-1657. doi:10.2337/dc10-0124
[27] Kumagai, S., Kai, Y., Nagano, M., Zou, B., Kishimoto, H. and Sasaki, H. (2005) Relative contributions of cardiorespiratory fitness and visceral fat to metabolic syndrome in patients with diabetes mellitus. Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 3, 213-220. doi:10.1089/met.2005.3.213
[28] Lakka, T.A., Laaksonen, D.E., Lakka, H.M., M?nnikk?, N., Niskanen, L.K., Rauramaa, R. and Salonen, J.T. (2003) Sedentary lifestyle, poor cardiorespiratory fitness, and the metabolic syndrome. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 35, 1279-1286. doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000079076.74931.9A
[29] Neya, M., Enoki, T., Ohiwa, N., Kawahara, T. and Gore, C.J. (2012) Ten Hours Nightly Simulated Altitude at 3000 m Increases Hemoglobin Mass and VO2max. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.
[30] Hirai, T., Sasayama, S., Kawasaki, T. and Yagi, S. (1989) Stiffness of systemic arteries in patients with myocardial infarction. A noninvasive method to predict severity of coronary atherosclerosis. Circulation, 80, 78-86. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.80.1.78
[31] Lehmann, E.D., Hopkins, K.D., Rawesh, A., Joseph, R.C., Kongola, K., Coppack, S.W. and Gosling, R.G. (1998) Relation between number of cardiovascular risk factors/events and noninvasive Doppler ultrasound assessments of aortic compliance. Hypertension, 32, 565-569. doi:10.1161/01.HYP.32.3.565

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.