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Homeostatic Responses to Prolonged Cold Exposure: Human Cold Acclimatization
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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This report reviews human physiological adjustments induced by chronic exposure to cold stress. Three broad types of adjustments are identified. The most commonly observed adjustment exhibited by humans chronically exposed to cold is a hypothermic habituation. Blunted shivering and vasoconstrictor responses to cold characterize this adjustment which enables maintenance of warmer skin during cold exposure. Metabolic acclimatization acclimation has been observed in which shivering response to cold becomes exaggerated. Insulative acclimatizationacclimation has also been observed in which persons chronically exposed to cold vasoconstrict cutaneous vasculature more readily. The factors determining which pattern of adjustment occurs remain unidentified, although a theoretical explanation is presented which is based on the intensity of the cold stress experienced. Cold, Acclimation, Metabolism, Insulation
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE