Essay on The Effects Of Blood Pressure On The Body

Essay on The Effects Of Blood Pressure On The Body

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While submerged in an aqueous environment, an individual experiences apnea, or breath holding. This breath hold while diving leads to a collection of physiological reflexes termed the human dive response, one of which is bradycardia, or slowing heart rate (Gooden, 1994). Blood flow is also reduced to the appendicular extremities of the body, termed peripheral vasoconstriction (Schagatay et al., 2007). Mean arterial pressure, known as blood pressure, increases due to the peripheral vasoconstriction (Gooden, 1994). All of these responses help reduce the amount of blood sent to non-critical areas of the body, namely the lungs and peripheries, in order to prevent rapid depletion of oxygen stores during a dive (Hurwitz and Furedy, 1986). The amount of time that an individual can induce apnea is directly related to the oxygen saturation in the body at the beginning of the breath hold (Andersson et al., 2002; Lindholm and Lundgren, 2008).
Caffeine is known to increase blood pressure (Green and Suls, 1996). This is due to its properties as a vasoconstrictor because it inhibits adenosine production, which in contrast, is a vasodilator (Daniels et al., 1998). This vasoconstriction leads to an increase in resistance which increases blood pressure. However, changes in blood pressure are reduced in individuals who habitually consume moderate amounts of caffeine (Corti et al., 2002). An increase in blood pressure will stimulate tachycardia, an increase in heart rate, in order to compensate for the reduction of blood flow to the tissues (Daniels et al., 1998; Gandevia et al., 1978). Caffeine has also been seen to lower heart rate by causing a pressure-induced bradycardia (Bichler et al., 2006). This was most likely due to the combined effects ...


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... alternation. After caffeine consumption, diving runs took place at 15 minute, 30 minute, and 60 minute time intervals, wherein blood pressure and heart rate were recorded in each trial run.
Initial data was recorded in Microsoft® Excel™ during the six-week experimental period. Recording of blood pressure and heart rate were averaged among the four subjects. These averages were graphed against the time intervals after caffeine consumption including standard error of the mean. Two-tailed t-tests (assuming equal variance) were performed on the averages when comparing caffeine consumption levels, at each time interval, with baseline average recording to determine significant difference within a 95% confidence interval. Percent changes were calculated and graphed for average recordings that differed from the baseline average, including standard error of the mean.

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