For Immediate Release: May 30, 2013
Hypoxemia and Your Body: How Do You Adapt?
Talk at ACSM conference today will discuss how the human body lives in a state
of less oxygen
INDIANAPOLIS –That morning jog or bike ride through the mountains may affect
your body more than you think, according to a session presented at the American
College of Sports Medicine’s 60th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Jerome A.
Dempsey, Ph.D., FACSM, a respiratory physiologist from the University of
Wisconsin, will discuss a healthy human’s capability to adapt to hypoxemia – a
condition defined by inadequate transport of oxygen to tissues.
“Whether you are a sea-level dweller who is traveling to higher altitude, or live at
a high altitude, or have sleep apnea with intermittent hypoxemia, or are an
athlete who voluntarily exposes him or herself to low-oxygen environments,
hypoxemia can affect athletic performance as well as general quality of life,” said
He noted that, given the growing number of persons choosing to reside at
altitudes higher than 2500 meters (approximately 8,000 feet above sea level),
understanding the pros and cons of hypoxic exposure and intermittent
hypoxemia is increasingly important.
“For every adaptation to hypoxemia there is a biologic cost, and sometimes the
cost outweighs the adaptation,” said Dempsey. “Intermittent hypoxemia—
especially the type experienced during sleep apnea— is especially problematic to
For more information about ACSM’s Annual Meeting, please visit
The conclusions outlined in this news release are those of the researchers only,
and should not be construed as an official statement of the American College of
Sports Medicine. Research highlighted in this news release has been presented
at a professional meeting but has not been peer-reviewed.