The aim of this study was to examine to what extent extreme endurance exercise results in changes of plasma markers associated with cardiac and renal damage, as well as hemolysis in male, Mexican Tarahumara runners.
Ten Tarahumara runners (mean (sd) age of 38 (12) years) participated in a 78 km race in Chihuahua, Mexico at 2,400 m above sea level. Cardiac, kidney, and hematology plasma markers were measured pre-race and <5 min, 1 h, 3 h, 6 h, 24 h, and 48 h post-race. Anthropometry, blood pressure, pulse rate, electrocardiography, HbA1c, hemoglobin and VO2max (estimated from heart rate following step test) were assessed pre-race, while physical activity energy expenditure and intensity were estimated during the race, and oxygen partial pressure saturation (SpO2) <30 min post-race.
Estimated mean VO2max was 48 (9) mLO2 min−1 kg−1 and relative intensity during the race was 68 (11)%VO2max. Mean SpO2 was 92 (3)% <30 min post-race. Plasma concentrations of especially total creatine kinase, creatine kinase-MB isoform, and haptoglobin changed significantly from pre-race values (P < 0.001) up to 24 h post-race, but had returned to pre-race values after 48 h. The plasma concentrations of mid-regional proatrial natiuretic peptide and copeptin returned to pre-race concentrations after 1 and 6 h, respectively.
Altered cardiac, renal, and hemolysis plasma markers were normalized after 48 h following 78 km of running, suggesting that the impact of exercise-induced cardiac and kidney damage as well as hemolysis in the Mexican Tarahumara is low. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 26:836–843, 2014. © 2014 The Authors American Journal of Human Biology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.