The aim of this study was to observe the changes in endothelial and inflammatory markers in middle-aged male runners with exercise-induced hypertension (EIH) at baseline and at 100-km, 200-km, and 308-km checkpoints during a prolonged endurance ultramarathon.
Among a total of 62 ultramarathon volunteers, 8 with systolic blood pressure higher than 210 mm Hg and 8 with normal systolic blood pressure were selected for this study. The subjects were designated to EIH and control (CON) groups. Blood was collected for the analysis of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule–1, soluble E-selectin, leukocytes, creatine kinase, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.
Soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule–1 showed a significantly greater increase in the EIH group than in the CON group at 100 km and 200 km. Soluble E-selectin also showed a significantly greater increase in the EIH group than in the CON group at 100 km. Leukocytes significantly increased in the EIH group than in the CON group at 308 km. Creatine kinase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein showed no group differences.
Leukocytes, creatine kinase, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein showed delayed-onset increases in both groups. Increased exercise intensity may stimulate greater endothelial responses independent of the inflammatory markers in EIH. The loss of a protective effect may be greater in those with EIH than in CONs. Acknowledging and prescribing proper exercise intensity may be critical in preventing possible vascular-related complications in runners with EIH.