Oxygen consumption at altitude as a risk factor for altitude decompression sickness.
The existence of a general influence of exercise on the incidence of decompression sickness (DCS) has been known for more than a half-century. However, quantification of the effect has not been done for several reasons, including isolation of exercise as the only variable. The DCS database at Brooks City-Base, TX, contains detailed physiologic information on over 3000 altitude exposures. The purpose of this study was to measure Vo2 during the activities performed during those exposures to retrospectively determine if Vo2, a quantifiable index of exercise intensity, was related to the level of reported DCS.
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