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Exercise Training-Induced Changes in Coagulation Factors in Older Adults


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: April 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 4 - p 587-592
doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31802eff4b
CLINICAL SCIENCES: Clinical Investigations

The coagulation cascade plays a critical role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Elevated plasma prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F1 + 2) and factor VIII antigen (FVIII:Ag) levels have been associated with a hypercoagulable state, enhancing the risk for vascular thrombotic events. Aerobic training is known to reduce CVD risk, and an improved coagulation profile may contribute to this reduction.

Purpose: To analyze the effect of 6 months of standardized aerobic exercise training on resting F1 + 2 and FVIII:Ag levels in men and postmenopausal women aged 50-75 while accounting for several possibly confounding factors.

Materials and Methods: Sedentary men (N = 16) and women (N = 31) underwent supervised aerobic training 3 d·wk−1 for 6 months while maintaining the American Heart Association step 1 diet. Baseline and final testing included measurement of F1 + 2, FVIII:Ag, plasma lipoprotein-lipid levels, body composition, and V˙O2max.

Results: When adjusted for baseline values and changes in diastolic blood pressure with training, F1 + 2 was found to decrease significantly with exercise training from 1.493 ± 0.058 to 1.422 ± 0.059 nM (P = 0.014). FVIII:Ag levels were found to increase significantly with training when adjusted for baseline values, from 152.5 ± 6.7% of standard at baseline to 156.0 ± 6.1% of standard at final testing (P = 0.005). Training-induced changes in coagulation markers were independent of changes in blood lipids, aerobic capacity, and body composition.

Conclusions: These results indicate that endurance training has a significant impact on the coagulation cascade, reducing coagulation activity in the common pathway and thrombin formation at rest while increasing the activation potential of the intrinsic pathway.

Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Address for correspondence: James M. Hagberg, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2611; E-mail:

Submitted for publication September 2006.

Accepted for publication November 2006.

©2007The American College of Sports Medicine