This study assessed the intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning of a three-couple expedition group that included a 2 1/2-year-old child which was ice-locked on a boat in the High Arctic during a major portion of the expedition. Personality assessment indicated that team members were generally well adjusted, scoring relatively higher on well-being and achievement and relatively lower on stress reactivity. Weekly mood ratings showed that the group exhibited significantly higher positive than negative affect. Reported negative events were relatively most frequent at the beginning of the Arctic stay and toward the end of the darkness period and were lowest during the initial darkness interval. The period of darkness had both a salutary and negative impact. A highly important means of coping with stress was seeking emotional support from one's partner. Selection of couples with strong bonds with their partner appears to be one viable approach for crew selection for long-duration missions.
AIM: To specify a 24-h profile of arterial pressure (AP) in hypertensive patients working in duty regime in the Far North (Tyumen Region). MATERIAL AND METHODS: AP parameters were studied in 155 males aged 25-59 with hypertension of stage I, II who were employed for duty work in the Far North areas and 38 control patients with hypertension stage I, II living in a moderate climatic zone (Tyumen). The groups were comparable by gender, age, duration of hypertension, office systolic and diastolic AP (SAP and DAP). All the patients have undergone 24-h monitoring of AP with assessment of basic mean parameters. RESULTS: The study group patients had scare symptoms and lower mean 24-h SAP, but high AP variability, high DAD as reflection of more significant structural changes of vessels and special functioning of the autonomic nervous system in the North. Mean 24-h AP showed more unfavourable changes in hypertensive subjects who had flight from Yamburg-Moscow-Yamburg. CONCLUSION: The data of the study dictate the necessity to develop a differentiated risk strategy for health promotion, prevention and treatment of hypertension in those who work in the North of Tyumen Region in duty regime.
The examinations were carried out during the 27th Soviet Antarctic expedition. Baseline data were collected before the departure of the test subjects to the Antarctic Region. Prior to their ascent to the high mountain area they were divided into two groups with a high and a low level of hypoxic tolerance in terms of the work capacity index calculated on the basis of standard bicycle ergometry tests. Heart rate, body temperature and salivary content of sodium and potassium were measured 6 times a day at 4-hour intervals. The results obtained were treated by nonparametric tests. It was found that on adaptation day 30 the subjects with low hypoxic tolerance and nonspecific resistance developed changes in biorhythm amplitudes and phases and showed ultradian components with a 12-hour period. By contrast, the subjects with high hypoxic tolerance retained the ability to maintain circadian patterns. By the middle of the wintering time the circadian rhythms shifted towards ultradian components regardless of individual hypoxic tolerance.
An historical review is made of Antarctic medical practice, which is unique because of the absence of an indigenous population. This review begins with the primitive shipboard practice of doctors accompanying Captain James Cook around 1775 and concludes with the modern era of permanent stations and vast scientific endeavour. The heroic era of Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen and Mawson and the highly mechanized transition period are contrasted with the present day. Medical practice on modern expeditions has reached a high standard, but there is still much to be learned concerning human adaptation. Comment is made on the possible utilization of Antarctica's natural resources bringing increases in polar populations and facilitating the expansion of medical research in the future era of polar medicine.
Four men, in the company of 16 dogs, skied for five weeks from Gåsefjord to Ellef Ringnes Land, North Canada. The expedition met with considerable unforeseen challenges such as extreme and prolonged cold, unmotivated Greenland dogs, and much pack ice. Psychological reactions were described and measured by a qualitative free text analysis and a test battery including GHQ-30 (General Health Questionnaire) and STAI State (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) before, during, and after the expedition. Five main themes were found: external influences, relations between men and animals, progress and expectations, interpersonal relations, and thoughts at the end of the expedition. Negative emotional reactions were mostly present at the beginning of the expedition and were related to the environment and the pressure of perceived expectations from the outside world. Frustrations were enhanced by forced inactivity. Perceived essential positive elements were a strong group identity and friendship. The acceptance of dissension was low; the group strived to achieve consensus before decisions were made. The psychometric results showed more stress and anxiety immediately before the expedition than after. These parameters also increased significantly at the beginning of the expedition, then there was a reverse. The level of anxiety was higher in the two leaders. The expedition was concluded in an overall atmosphere of mutual affection, satisfaction, and pride.