Objective: Air travel and exercise change hemostatic parameters. This study investigated the effect of air travel on exercise-induced coagulation and fibrinolysis in endurance athletes.
Design: A prospective longitudinal study.
Setting: The 114th Boston Marathon (April 19, 2010).
Participants: Forty-one adults were divided into travel (T: 23 participants, living >4-hour plane flight from Boston) and nontravel (C: 18 participants, living <2-hour car trip from Boston) groups.
Independent Variables: Age, anthropometrics, vital signs, training mileage, and finishing time were collected.
Main Outcome Measures: Subjects provided venous blood samples the day before (PRE), immediately after (FINISH), and the day following the marathon after returning home (POST). Blood was analyzed for thrombin–antithrombin complex (TAT), tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), hematocrit (Hct), and the presence of Factor V Leiden R506Q mutation.
Results: Thrombin–antithrombin complex increased more in T subjects in PRE to FINISH samples (5.0 ± 4.0 to 12.9 ± 15.6 μg/L) than in C subjects (4.0 ± 1.2 to 6.1 ± 1.2 μg/L; P = 0.02 for comparison). The t-PA increased in both the T (5.4 ± 2.3 to 25.1 ± 12.2 ng/mL) and C (5.6 ± 2.0 to 27.7 ± 11.3 ng/mL) groups in PRE to FINISH samples, and this response did not differ between groups (P = 0.23 for comparison). Both groups exhibited similar t-PA and TAT values at POST that were not different than PRE (all P > 0.35). Age was related to the FINISH TAT values in T (r2 = 0.19; P = 0.04) but not in C (r2 = 0.03; P = 0.53) subjects.
Conclusions: Results suggest that the combination of air travel and marathon running induces an acute hypercoaguable state; this hemostatic imbalance is exaggerated with increasing age.