Strenuous exercise induces a hyperreactive rebalanced haemostatic state that is more pronounced in men

Dana Huskens*, Mark Roest, Jasper A. Remijn, Joke Konings, Romy M. W. Kremers, Saartje Bloemen, Evelien Schurgers, Anna Selmeczi, Hilde Kelchtermans, Rinaldo van Meel, Steven J. Meex, Marie-Claire Kleinegris, Philip G. de Groot, Rolf T. Urbanus, Marisa Ninivaggi, Bas de Laat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Physical exercise is recommended for a healthy lifestyle. Strenuous exercise, however, may trigger the haemostatic system, increasing the risk of vascular thrombotic events and the incidence of primary cardiac arrest. Our goal was to study the effects of strenuous exercise on risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Blood was collected from 92 healthy volunteers who participated in the amateur version of the pro tour Amstel Gold cycling race, before and directly after the race. Thrombin generation showed a shortening of the lag time and time to peak and an increase of the velocity index. Interestingly, the endogenous thrombin potential measured in plasma decreased due to reduced prothrombin conversion. Platelet reactivity increased and this effect was stronger in men than in women. Lower fibrinogen and higher D-dimer levels after exercise indicated higher fibrin formation. On the other hand, fibrinolysis was also elevated as indicated by a shortening of the clot lysis time. Exercise activated the endothelium (von Willebrand factor (VWF) and active VWF levels were elevated) and the immune system (concentrations IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, RANTES and PDGF increased). Additionally, an increased cardiac troponin T level was measured post-exercise. Strenuous exercise induces a temporary hyperreactive state in the body with enhanced pro- and anticoagulant responses. As strenuous exercise has a more pronounced effect on platelet function in male subjects, this gives a possible explanation for the higher incidence of sudden cardiac death during exercise compared to women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1119
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Exercise
  • coagulation
  • platelets
  • thrombin
  • fibrinolysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Strenuous exercise induces a hyperreactive rebalanced haemostatic state that is more pronounced in men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this