, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 181-200
Date: 23 Sep 2012

Exercise and Training Effects on Blood Haemostasis in Health and Disease

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In recent years, the dysfunction of the haemostatic system in relation to the clinical complications from arterioscleroses and cardiovascular diseases has become more recognised. Blood coagulation and fibrinolysis comprise two important physiological systems, which are regulated by a balance between activators and inhibitors. Activation of blood coagulation is associated with accelerated clot formation, whereas activation of blood fibrinolysis enhances the breakdown of the blood clot. Available evidence suggests that strenuous exercise induces activation of blood coagulation with simultaneous enhancement of blood fibrinolysis. Although the responses of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis appear to be related to the exercise intensity and its duration, recent reports suggest that moderate exercise intensity is followed by activation of blood fibrinolysis without concomitant hyper-coagulability, while very intense exercise is associated with concurrent activation of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis. Similar to blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, systemic platelet-related thrombogenic factors have been shown to be involved in the initiation and progression of atherogenesis and plaque growth. Although exercise effects on platelet aggregation and function in healthy individuals have been examined, the results reported have been conflicting. However, for patients with coronary heart disease, the balance of evidence available would strongly suggest that platelet aggregation and functions are increased with exercise. Few studies are available concerning the influence of training on blood coagulation and fibrinolysis and the exact effects of exercise training on the equilibrium between blood coagulation and fibrinolysis is not as yet known. Although the effects of physical training on platelets have been briefly investigated, available meagre evidence suggests that exercise training is associated with favourable effects on platelet aggregation and activation in both men and women.