Effects of a single bout of interval hypoxia on cardiorespiratory control in patients with type 1 diabetes

Tobias Duennwald, Luciano Bernardi, Daniel Gordin, Anna Sandelin, Anna Syreeni, Christopher Fogarty, Janne P. Kytö, Hannes Gatterer, Markku Lehto, Sohvi Hörkkö, Carol Forsblom, Martin Burtscher, Per Henrik Groop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypoxemia is common in diabetes, and reflex responses to hypoxia are blunted. These abnormalities could lead to cardiovascular/ renal complications. Interval hypoxia (IH) (5-6 short periods of hypoxia each day over 1-3 weeks) was successfully used to improve the adaptation to hypoxia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We tested whether IH over 1 day could initiate a long-lasting response potentially leading to better adaptation to hypoxia. In 15 patients with type 1 diabetes, we measured hypoxic and hypercapnic ventilatory responses (HCVRs), ventilatory recruitment threshold (VRT-CO2), baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), blood pressure, and blood lactate before and after 0, 3, and 6 h of a 1-h single bout of IH. All measurements were repeated on a placebo day (single-blind protocol, randomized sequence). After IH (immediately and after 3 h), hypoxic and HCVR increased, whereas the VRT-CO2 dropped. No such changes were observed on the placebo day. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased, whereas blood lactate decreased after IH. Despite exposure to hypoxia, BRS remained unchanged. Repeated exposures to hypoxia over 1 day induced an initial adaptation to hypoxia, with improvement in respiratory reflexes. Prolonging the exposure to IH (.2 weeks) in type 1 diabetic patients will be a matter for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4220-4227
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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