|Authors||Eijsvogels, T., George, K., Shave, R., Gaze, D.C., Levine, B.D., Hopman, M.T.E. and Thijssen, D.H.J.|
Increased cardiac troponin I (cTnI), a marker for cardiac damage, has been reported after strenuous exercise in young subjects. However, little is known about changes in cTnI after moderate-intensity exercise in a heterogenous population or which factors may contribute to this change in cTnI levels. We examined cTnI levels before and immediately after each day of a 4-day long-distance walking event (30 to 50 km/day) in a heterogenous group (67 men, 42 women), across a broad age range (21 to 82 years), with known cardiovascular pathology or risk factors present in many subjects (n = 24). Walking was performed at a self-selected pace. Cardiac TnI was assessed using a standard system (Immulite) with high values (≥0.20 μg/L) cross-checked using a high-sensitive cTnI assay (Centaur). Mean cTnI levels increased significantly from 0.04 to 0.07 μg/L on day 1, with no further increase thereafter (p <0.001, analysis of variance). Backward linear regression found a weak, but significant, association of age (p <0.001), walking speed (p = 0.02), and cardiovascular pathology (p = 0.03) with postexercise cTnI level (combined r2 = 0.11, p <0.001). In 6 participants (6%), cTnI was increased above the clinical cut-off value for myocardial infarction on ≥1 day. These participants supported the regression analysis, because they were older, walked at higher relative exercise intensity, and reported a high prevalence of cardiovascular pathology. In conclusion, prolonged, moderate-intensity exercise may result in an increase in cTnI levels in a broad spectrum of subjects, especially in older subjects with pre-existing cardiovascular disease or risk factors.