Time course of deacclimatization to cold water immersion in Korean women divers

J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1983 Jun;54(6):1708-16. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1983.54.6.1708.


Seasonal basal metabolic rates (BMR), critical water temperature (Tcw), maximal body insulations (Imax), and finger blood flow during hand immersion in 6 degrees C water (Q finger) were measured periodically during the course of a 3-yr longitudinal study (1980-1982) of modern Korean diving women (ama), who have been wearing wet suits since 1977 to avoid cold stress during work. Methods and protocols were identical to previous studies of cotton-suited ama from 1961-1974. The BMR of modern ama did not undergo seasonal fluctuation (1980-1981) and was within the DuBois standard and comparable to nondivers year around Tcw of ama was still reduced by 2-3 degrees C in 1980 but increased progressively to equal that of nondivers in 1982, when compared at comparable subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT). Since modern ama and nondivers have 2.4 times thicker SFT (i.e., 4-13 mm) than in 1962 the absolute Tcw is significantly reduced. Q finger of ama was also significantly lower than controls in 1980 but in 1981-1982 was identical to controls. Imax of modern ama was identical to controls of comparable SFT in 1980-1982. The time course of cold deacclimatization thus was BMR, 3 yr; Imax, 3 yr; Q finger, 4 yr; and Tcw, 5 yr. This longitudinal study provides further evidence that acclimatization to cold did at one time exist in these diving women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Blood Vessels / physiology
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Diving*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immersion*
  • Korea
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Shivering
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Time Factors