Hormonal responses to the 6-minute walk test in women and men with coronary heart disease: A pilot study

Karen J. Radke, Kathleen B. King, Martha L. Blair, Patricia G. Fitzpatrick, Deborah H. Eldredge

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Scopus citations


    BACKGROUND: Women with coronary heart disease (CHD) are more likely than men to develop congestive heart failure (CHF). Dysregulation of sympathetic and volume-regulatory hormones may contribute to the onset of symptomatic CHF. We hypothesized that this hormonal dysregulation develops at an earlier stage of CHD in women than in men. OBJECTIVES: The study goals were (1) to determine the effect of gender on basal and exercise-induced plasma concentrations of catecholamines and volume-regulatory hormones in patients diagnosed with CHD, New York Heart Association class I and (2) to determine efficacy of the 6-minute walk test as a stimulus for release of these hormones. METHODS: Study participants were 9 women and 9 men with normal left ventricular ejection fraction (>50%) and CHD confirmed by arteriography. Data were collected under resting conditions, and after the 6-minute walk test, in the general clinical research center of a northeastern university medical center. RESULTS: Basal plasma vasopressin (VP) concentration was significantly higher in men than in women (P =. 018). Exercise, for women and men combined, significantly increased atrial natriuretic peptide (P <. 0005), VP (P =. 04), norepinephrine (P <. 0005), and epinephrine (P =. 038) but not plasma renin activity (P =. 09). No further gender differences were detected for basal levels, or for the magnitude of exercise-induced increases, for any of the hormones measured. CONCLUSIONS: The 6-minute walk test is an exercise of sufficient intensity and duration to initiate the release of hormones associated with sympathetic activation and fluid-electrolyte regulation in both women and men with CHD. It appears that a gender difference was detected only for basal VP levels.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)126-135
    Number of pages10
    JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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