In this video, Clare Eglin discusses her latest paper investigating recreational cold exposure and its effects on endothelial function.
Read more in Experimental Physiology:
Previous recreational cold exposure does not alter endothelial function or sensory thermal thresholds in the hands or feet.
Clare M. Eglin, Joseph T. Costello, Michael J. Tipton, Heather Massey.
Hello, my name is Clare Eglin and I am from the Extreme Environment Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth.
I would like to tell you about a recent paper we have had published in Experimental Physiology. Although historically, non-freezing cold injury has been a problem for the military, the increased popularity of outdoor recreational activities means that civilians may also be at risk.
In this study, we examined whether recreational cold exposure results in cold sensitivity and whether this was then associated with endothelial dysfunction and impaired sensory thermal sensations.
27 volunteers with a range of previous cold exposure participated. Based on the rewarming profile of their foot following a mild cold stimulus, they were then put in either a cold-sensitive (with slow rewarming), or a control group, but were otherwise closely matched.
A relationship between reported previous cold exposure and toe skin temperature rewarming following foot cooling was observed. However, cutaneous endothelial function, as assessed by the vasodilatory response to acetylcholine, was not impaired in cold-sensitive individuals, neither did they have an impairment of their perception of warm and cold stimuli in their hands and feet.
The significance of this study is that previous cold exposure may result in cold sensitivity, which may indicate the development of a sub-clinical non-freezing cold injury. Therefore, more research is required to understand the pathophysiology of both subclinical and clinical forms of non-freezing cold injury.