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Do Men and Women Respond Differently to Heat?

Update Date: Feb 27, 2017 07:00 AM EST

The human body has its own heat regulation system that prevents it from overheating while doing exercise or during a hot day. It has been a common belief that men and women respond differently to heat due to several sex-dependent factors.

However, in an article posted in Medical News Today, the belief that men and women respond differently to heat is finally addressed. A new research conducted by scientists at the University of Wollongong in Australia and Mie Prefectural College of Nursing in Japan finally corrects this belief. The study led by Sean Notley revealed that the ratio between body surface area and mass dictates the body's response to heat, regardless of gender. Larger individuals tend to sweat more to adjust to the increasing heat in their bodies.

Mirror UK further elaborates that the body cools down automatically by producing sweat. The study involved 60 health participants who were evaluated for vasomotor and sudomotor functions. Thirty-six males and 24 females with different body types and sizes. Participants completed two tasks in compensable conditions at 28°C (82.4 °F) and 36 percent relative humidity, rested for 20 minutes and then cycled at a steady rate for 45 minutes.

Afterward, they were also observed while cycling at a higher intensity. In this condition, the body tried to prevent its internal temperature from rising by sweating and increasing the blood flow to the skin.

The participants in the experiment for their body's vascular conductance and forearm blood flow. Trials revealed that the mass-specific area was the significant factor that determined the vasomotor and sudomotor responses in both men and women, accounting for 10 to 48 percent of the individual variability.

The study concluded that how the body responds to heat depends on morphological changes and not gender. Females and males who have smaller body size who have more surface area compared to body mass lose heat by increasing blood circulation rather than sweating. Larger people, on the other hand, sweat more, regardless of their gender.

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