Decreased thermal sweating of central sudomotor mechanism in African and Korean men.
OBJECTIVE: Tropical natives sweat less and preserve more body fluid than temperate natives, tolerating heat stress. However, the mechanisms involved in such sweating reduction have not been fully elucidated. We examined the sudomotor responses of men of African (n = 36) and Korean (n = 41) ancestry during hot water (43 °C) leg immersion (central sudomotor response). Correlations between mean body temperature, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and sweat rate were also examined. METHODS: All procedures were done in an automated climate chamber. Local skin temperatures and BMR were measured and mean body temperature was calculated. Sweating activities which include evaporative loss rate, sweat onset time, sweat rate, sweat volume, and whole-body sweat loss volume were examined. RESULTS: In the heat load test, Africans showed lower mean body and local skin temperatures than Koreans before and after heating. Before and after heating, BMR declined significantly in Africans, while that of Koreans declined less. Local sweat onset time increased more in Africans than in Koreans. Local evaporative loss rate, local sweat volume, local sweat rate, and whole body sweat loss volume were reduced in Africans compared with Koreans. There were positive associations of mean body temperature and resting BMR with mean sweat rate. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we observed a larger reduction of sudomotor activity in tropical Africans than in temperate Koreans, which was associated with their lower mean body temperature and lower resting BMR.