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ADAPTATION TO BREATH-HOLDING IN ELITE FREEDIVERS

I. Е. ZELENKOVA (1,2), N. A. FUDIN (1), YU. YE. VAGUIN (1,2), А .А. NAFEEVA (1), А. А. KULIN (3) 1 -ANOKHIN INSTITUTE OF NORMAL PHYSIOLOGY, MOSCOW, RUSSIA 2 -SECHENOV FIRST MOSCOW STATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, MOSCOW, RUSSIA 3 -MOSCOW COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATICS UNIVERSITY, MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Objective: To compare cardiovascular reaction to maximal breath hold at rest and during the physical exercise in elite freedivers, basketball players and persons not involved in sports. Material and methods: Here we present the results of a study on 41 healthy young persons (177 (170–185) cm, 75 (69–85) kg, 25 (22–28) years), who were divided into three groups. One group included 12 continuously training freedivers (175 (170–176) cm, 70 (67–75) kg, 29 (26–32) years) at the «high achievers in sports» level (Group I). The second group included 15 continuously training basketball players (185 (181–190) cm, 83 (76–90) kg, 26 (24–28) years) of different training level (Group II). The third group included 14 healthy young persons (170 (161–172) cm, 67 (55–82) kg, 21 (20–22) years) not involved in sports (Group III).The divers hold their breath for as long as possible at rest and during continuous load (70 rpm, 1 Wt/kg). During the test heart rate (HR) and oxygene saturation (SpO2) were measured.
Results: Maximal voluntary breath–hold in group I was longer compared with group II and III (p=0,002 and 0,0001). HR decreased in 29% in group I, and 10% in group II and III. SpO2 decreased in 11% in group I, in 2,6% in group II andin1% in group III. Covered distance in cycle ergometer test with interrupted breath-holds was greater also in group I compared with group II and III (p=0,008 and p=0,0004). During this test HR decreased in 10%in group I, increased in 20% in group II and in 13% in group III. SpO2 decreased in 7% in group I, in 6 % in group II and didn't change in group III. In conclusion, freediving athletes exhibited changes in their response to breath-holding, most likely due to the regular maximal voluntary breath–holds. This changes we don’t see in basketball players or inpersons not involved in sports.
Keywords: 
freediving, breath-hold, divereflex, hypoxia, heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation.