Astronaut Arterial Stiffness and Insulin Resistance

Is exercise really the best medicine…in space? In this fascinating podcast, Consulting Editor David Gutterman (Medical College of Wisconsin) interviews lead author Richard Hughson (University of Waterloo) and content expert Walter Wray (University of Utah) about the latest work by Hughson and co-authors on how zero gravity alters vascular stiffness and insulin resistance, particularly in vessels in the head and neck. This latest work from Hughson and colleagues has important implications for long-term spaceflight, like missions to Mars and space station inhabitation. In addition, comparisons to bed rest studies make the case that acute changes in vascular stiffness may be treated with exercise, but how much is enough? With the recent completion of NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s year in space, this podcast is not only timely, it is literally “out of this world.” Listen now.

Richard L. Hughson, Andrew D. Robertson, Philippe Arbeille, J. Kevin Shoemaker, James W. E. Rush, Katelyn S. Fraser, Danielle K. Greaves Increased postflight carotid artery stiffness and inflight insulin resistance resulting from 6-mo spaceflight in male and female astronauts Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published March 1, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00802.2015.

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