A Proposal to Study Gender Differences in the Rates of Decompression Sickness
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH
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Decompression sickness is the clinical syndrome associated with evolution of nitrogen bubbles in the blood and body tissues upon exposure to an acute reduction in barometric pressure. Because nitrogen is more soluble in fatty substances than in water, adiposity has long been considered a risk factor for the development of decompression sickness. Due to the physiologic differences between the sexes, women have an average eight per cent more body fat than men, so it is possible that women have a greater likelihood of developing decompression sickness. Several studies in the scientific literature seem to support this hypothesis, but they have been associated with such drawbacks as selection and reporting bias, retrospective approach, and the lack of an objective diagnostic modality for the syndrome of decompression sickness.
- Stress Physiology