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Original articles  HEMATOLOGY 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2005 December;45(4):576-9


language: English

Coagulation parameters in senior athletes practicing endurance sporting activity

Cerneca E. 1, Simeone R. 1, Bruno G. 1, Gombacci A. 2

1 IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Laboratory of Analysis, Trieste, Italy 2 IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Cardiology Unit and CONI-FMSI Regional Center for Sports Medicine, Trieste, Italy


Aim. Physical activity is practiced more and more by middle-aged people. We studied the behavior of the coagulation system before and after near-maximum, specific and standardized exercise tests in 2 groups of senior athletes.
Methods. The subjects of the study were 2 groups of athletes over 40 years of age (ranging 41 to 60 years): 10 rowers and 10 marathon runners. The data were compared with 10 controls (ranging in age from 40 to 71 years) tested on the cycle ergometer. The first group (rowers) was tested on a rowing machine; the second group (marathon runners) performed a maximal exercise on the treadmill. All subjects were tested to a maximal level of cardiovascular and muscular exertion and cardiac and respiratory parameters were monitored. The following coagulation tests were performed before and after maximal exercise: prothrombin time (PT), partial activated thromboplastin time (PTT), fibrinogen (FBG), antithrombin III (ATIII), protein C (PC), protein S (PS), prothrombin fragment 1+2 (F1+2), tissue activator of plasminogen (t-PA) and its inhibitor (PAI). All subjects performed a complete maximal specific test.
Results. The results showed all individuals produced a significant increase of FBG, PT and PTT activities and a lowering trend for PC and PS inhibitors after maximal exercise testing. ATIII levels increased significantly in trained subjects. After the test, data regarding fibrinolysis showed higher t-PA levels in athletes as compared with controls. PAI levels indicated a more marked decrease in athletes. The F1+2 showed a moderate but significant increase in the control group.
Conclusion. Coagulative tests showed an increase in procoagulant and fibrinolysis parameters in all the groups but the increased fibrinolytic activity in trained athletes indicates a protective factor and greater vascular efficiency. The results demonstrate that sporting activity practiced by middle-aged people accelerates fibrinolytic activity in conditioned subjects. In conclusion, physical activity benefits the coagulation system particularly as regards fibrinolysis.

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