Flying experience and cardiovascular response to rapid head-up tilt in fighter pilots

David G. Newman, Robin Callister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Fighter pilots report G tolerance increases with regular exposure. Our previous work has shown that the cardiovascular system of +Gz-adapted fighter pilots responds differently to orthostatic challenges than that of non-pilots. A +Gz training effect in pilots after repetitive +Gz exposure has also been shown. Individual pilot factors such as flying experience may have a role in +Gz adaptation. In this study, we investigated the relationship between flying hours (a marker of cumulative +Gz exposure) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) response to head-up tilt (HUT; a marker of enhanced cardiovascular performance). Methods: There were 14 male fighter pilots who participated: 9 had over 1000 h jet flying experience and 5 had less than 500 h. Subjects underwent rapid (~4 s) +75° HUT. Beat-to-beat MAP was measured noninvasively. For each subject, change in MAP from resting values was obtained for the first 30 heart beats of the HUT period. MAP responses to tilt were compared between the experienced and less experienced pilots, and the averages of the MAP deviation values were plotted against flying hours. Results: There was a strong correlation (r = 0.87, P < 0.01) between the MAP response to tilt and jet flying hours. Comparison of the MAP responses to tilt indicates that the experienced pilots increased MAP more ( + 8 ±1.7 vs 5 ± 1.5 mmHg) and maintained MAP at a higher level during the HUT than the less experienced pilots. Conclusion: The results suggest that flying experience in the high +Gz environment is strongly correlated with enhanced cardiovascular performance under conditions of accelerative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-726
Number of pages4
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Volume80
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Acceleration
  • Baroreflexes
  • Blood pressure
  • Gravity
  • Tolerance

Cite this

@article{4e5591df74e541b6a8d05efcb39ecfb3,
title = "Flying experience and cardiovascular response to rapid head-up tilt in fighter pilots",
abstract = "Introduction: Fighter pilots report G tolerance increases with regular exposure. Our previous work has shown that the cardiovascular system of +Gz-adapted fighter pilots responds differently to orthostatic challenges than that of non-pilots. A +Gz training effect in pilots after repetitive +Gz exposure has also been shown. Individual pilot factors such as flying experience may have a role in +Gz adaptation. In this study, we investigated the relationship between flying hours (a marker of cumulative +Gz exposure) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) response to head-up tilt (HUT; a marker of enhanced cardiovascular performance). Methods: There were 14 male fighter pilots who participated: 9 had over 1000 h jet flying experience and 5 had less than 500 h. Subjects underwent rapid (~4 s) +75° HUT. Beat-to-beat MAP was measured noninvasively. For each subject, change in MAP from resting values was obtained for the first 30 heart beats of the HUT period. MAP responses to tilt were compared between the experienced and less experienced pilots, and the averages of the MAP deviation values were plotted against flying hours. Results: There was a strong correlation (r = 0.87, P < 0.01) between the MAP response to tilt and jet flying hours. Comparison of the MAP responses to tilt indicates that the experienced pilots increased MAP more ( + 8 ±1.7 vs 5 ± 1.5 mmHg) and maintained MAP at a higher level during the HUT than the less experienced pilots. Conclusion: The results suggest that flying experience in the high +Gz environment is strongly correlated with enhanced cardiovascular performance under conditions of accelerative stress.",
keywords = "Acceleration, Baroreflexes, Blood pressure, Gravity, Tolerance",
author = "Newman, {David G.} and Robin Callister",
year = "2009",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3357/ASEM.2533.2009",
language = "English",
volume = "80",
pages = "723--726",
journal = "Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine",
issn = "0095-6562",
publisher = "Aerospace Medical Association",
number = "8",

}

Flying experience and cardiovascular response to rapid head-up tilt in fighter pilots. / Newman, David G.; Callister, Robin.

In: Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 80, No. 8, 01.08.2009, p. 723-726.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Flying experience and cardiovascular response to rapid head-up tilt in fighter pilots

AU - Newman, David G.

AU - Callister, Robin

PY - 2009/8/1

Y1 - 2009/8/1

N2 - Introduction: Fighter pilots report G tolerance increases with regular exposure. Our previous work has shown that the cardiovascular system of +Gz-adapted fighter pilots responds differently to orthostatic challenges than that of non-pilots. A +Gz training effect in pilots after repetitive +Gz exposure has also been shown. Individual pilot factors such as flying experience may have a role in +Gz adaptation. In this study, we investigated the relationship between flying hours (a marker of cumulative +Gz exposure) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) response to head-up tilt (HUT; a marker of enhanced cardiovascular performance). Methods: There were 14 male fighter pilots who participated: 9 had over 1000 h jet flying experience and 5 had less than 500 h. Subjects underwent rapid (~4 s) +75° HUT. Beat-to-beat MAP was measured noninvasively. For each subject, change in MAP from resting values was obtained for the first 30 heart beats of the HUT period. MAP responses to tilt were compared between the experienced and less experienced pilots, and the averages of the MAP deviation values were plotted against flying hours. Results: There was a strong correlation (r = 0.87, P < 0.01) between the MAP response to tilt and jet flying hours. Comparison of the MAP responses to tilt indicates that the experienced pilots increased MAP more ( + 8 ±1.7 vs 5 ± 1.5 mmHg) and maintained MAP at a higher level during the HUT than the less experienced pilots. Conclusion: The results suggest that flying experience in the high +Gz environment is strongly correlated with enhanced cardiovascular performance under conditions of accelerative stress.

AB - Introduction: Fighter pilots report G tolerance increases with regular exposure. Our previous work has shown that the cardiovascular system of +Gz-adapted fighter pilots responds differently to orthostatic challenges than that of non-pilots. A +Gz training effect in pilots after repetitive +Gz exposure has also been shown. Individual pilot factors such as flying experience may have a role in +Gz adaptation. In this study, we investigated the relationship between flying hours (a marker of cumulative +Gz exposure) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) response to head-up tilt (HUT; a marker of enhanced cardiovascular performance). Methods: There were 14 male fighter pilots who participated: 9 had over 1000 h jet flying experience and 5 had less than 500 h. Subjects underwent rapid (~4 s) +75° HUT. Beat-to-beat MAP was measured noninvasively. For each subject, change in MAP from resting values was obtained for the first 30 heart beats of the HUT period. MAP responses to tilt were compared between the experienced and less experienced pilots, and the averages of the MAP deviation values were plotted against flying hours. Results: There was a strong correlation (r = 0.87, P < 0.01) between the MAP response to tilt and jet flying hours. Comparison of the MAP responses to tilt indicates that the experienced pilots increased MAP more ( + 8 ±1.7 vs 5 ± 1.5 mmHg) and maintained MAP at a higher level during the HUT than the less experienced pilots. Conclusion: The results suggest that flying experience in the high +Gz environment is strongly correlated with enhanced cardiovascular performance under conditions of accelerative stress.

KW - Acceleration

KW - Baroreflexes

KW - Blood pressure

KW - Gravity

KW - Tolerance

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=68249088957&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3357/ASEM.2533.2009

DO - 10.3357/ASEM.2533.2009

M3 - Article

VL - 80

SP - 723

EP - 726

JO - Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine

JF - Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine

SN - 0095-6562

IS - 8

ER -