Effects of sex and gender on adaptation to space: Cardiovascular alterations

Steven H. Platts, C. Noel Bairey Merz, Yael Barr, Qi Fu, Martha Gulati, Richard Hughson, Benjamin D. Levine, Roxana Mehran, Nina Stachenfeld, Nanette K. Wenger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Sex and gender differences in the cardiovascular adaptation to spaceflight were examined with the goal of optimizing the health and safety of male and female astronauts at the forefront of space exploration. Female astronauts are more susceptible to orthostatic intolerance after space flight; the visual impairment intracranial pressure syndrome predominates slightly in males. Since spaceflight simulates vascular aging, sex-specific effects on vascular endothelium and thrombotic risk warrant examination as predisposing factors to atherosclerosis, important as the current cohort of astronauts ages. Currently, 20% of astronauts are women, and the recently selected astronaut recruits are 50% women. Thus there should be expectation that future research will reflect the composition of the overall population to determine potential benefits or risks. This should apply both to clinical studies and to basic science research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)950-955
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Women's Health
    Volume23
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine

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