The Relative Resistance of Normal Young Women to Ethanol-Induced Myocardial Depression

Timmis, Gerald C.; Gordon, Seymour; Ramos, Renato G.; Gangadharan, V.
November 1979
Angiology;Nov1979, Vol. 30 Issue 11, p733
Academic Journal
In contrast to previous reports from our own laboratory utilizing systolic time intervals (STI) and by others using ultrasound, no evidence of acute myocardial depression was observed in response to an ethanol (ETOH) dose of 1.25 ml/lb consumed over a period of 60 minutes by 6 young women (22.7 ± 7 years; 133 ± 6 lbs) who were monitored for 3 hours thereafter. Specifically, there was no significant change in fractional shortening (%ΔD), ejection fraction, or mean circumferential fiber shortening velocity. Cardiac index and stroke index also remained stable, although heart rate increased {P < 0.005) and systolic and diastolic blood pressure fell {P < 0.01 and 0.25 respectively). To examine further this unanticipated cardiac resistance to ETOH, we reexamined the sex-specific difference of STI response to acute ETOH exposure in a previously reported group of 32 normal subjects (20 men and 12 women). Significant increases in PEP, PEPI, ICT, and PEP/LVET {P < 0.005, 0.005, 0.005, and 0.001 respectively) were observed in men only. Because we have previously observed that chronic ETOH consumption blunts acute myocardial depression, and because only 1 of 7 STI subjects historically consuming the least ETOH (<1 oz/day) was a woman, STIs, were reassessed only in those subjects with a chronic consumption of 1 or more oz/day (14 men and 11 women). Myocardial depression as estimated by an increased ICT {P < 0.05) and PEP/ LVET (P < 0.02) was again observed in men only. We concluded that women are less susceptible than men to acute ETOH-induced myocardial depression, as has recently been suggested for chronic ETOH consumption as well.


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