This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Influence of Adjusting for Muscular Strength and Body Size on Sex Differences in Sympathetic Responses to Isometric Handgrip Exercise and Metaboreflex Isolation in Healthy Young Adults




Tharpe, McKenna

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




The exercise pressor reflex (EPR), composed of central command and the mechano- and metaboreflex, increases blood pressure (BP). Compared to males, healthy premenopausal females typically exhibit blunted increases in BP during exercise. However, recent evidence suggests that this sex difference may be attributed to differences in muscle strength and anthropometric measures of body size. Thus, statistical adjustments for these factors may attenuate the sex differences in BP responses during isometric handgrip (HG) exercise and post-exercise ischemia (PEI; metaboreflex isolation). Therefore, for the purposes of this thesis project, we sought to determine whether individual and combined adjustments for HG force and body size (height2 and body surface area) would attenuate sex differences in EPR responses to HG and PEI in healthy young males and females.