Individual Responses to Stress


  1. LeBlanc, J.
  2. Ducharme, M.B.
  3. Thompson, M.
  4. Pastò, L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Numerous studies have reported large variations in individual responses to stress, including exposure to cold. An experiment was planned to measure specific and non-specific responses as well as subjective ratings in order to try to define the factors involved in the control of responses to cold. To that effect a group of 20 subjects were exposed to cold at 10C for 90 minutes. Rectal and skin temperatures were recorded throughout the experiment, while diuresis, urinary catecholamines and subjective rating of the test were measured at the end of the cold exposure. The role of subcutaneous fat was confirmed as being a prominent individual factor in the diminution of shivering due to heat loss reduction. To explain the reduced shivering in the presence of higher fat insulation, it is suggested that this may be due to a reduced cold receptor stimulation resulting from lower skin temperature. Heavier subjects, independent of body fat or of level of physical training, were shown to be more resistant to cold possibly because of a diminution of body surface in relation to body weight. Relevant to these findings it was found that the subjects with the lower skin temperatures at the end of the experiment, were those who rated the cold exposure as causing the less discomfort and in whom the cold diuresis and the total urinary excretion of adrenaline were the lowest.
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2002-127 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
24 Jul 2002
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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