Aggravation of exercise performance in patients with anemia by 3% carboxyhemoglobin

Wilbert S. Aronow, William J. Schlueter, Mark A. Williams, Marlene Petratis, Michael H. Sketch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To evaluate the effect of breathing 50 ppm carbon monoxide (CO) on exercise capacity in persons with anemia, 10 nonsmoking subjects with chronic anemia (mean hemoglobin 8.9 g%) were studied. No subject had heart or lung disease. By double-blind, randomized, crossover design, duration of fatigue-limited exercise after breathing CO and purified air for 1 hr was compared. Mean carboxyhemoglobin levels increased from 2.14 to 3.38% after breathing CO and decreased from 2.15 to 1.86% after breathing purified air, P < 0.004. Mean exercise duration decreased from 270.8 to 221.0 sec after breathing CO in contrast to an increase from 267.9 to 271.6 sec after breathing purified air, P < 0.0001. Hence, in the absence of clinical heart or lung disease, increasing carboxyhemoglobin concentrations aggravate exercise performance in nonsmokers with chronic anemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1984
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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