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Association of von Willebrand factor blood levels with exercise hypertension

Nikolic, S.B., Adams, M.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-7743-4515, Otahal, P., Edwards, L.M. and Sharman, J.E. (2015) Association of von Willebrand factor blood levels with exercise hypertension. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115 (5). pp. 1057-1065.

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A hypertensive response to moderate intensity exercise (HRE) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. The mechanisms of an HRE are unclear, although previous studies suggest this may be due to haemostatic and/or haemodynamic factors. We investigated the relationships between an HRE with haemostatic and hemodynamic indices.


Sixty-four participants (57 ± 10 years, 71 % male) with indication for exercise stress testing underwent cardiovascular assessment at rest and during moderate intensity exercise, from which 20 participants developed an HRE (defined as moderate exercise systolic BP ≥170 mmHg/men and ≥160 mmHg/women). Rest, exercise and post-exercise blood samples were analysed for haemostatic markers, including von Willebrand factor (vWf), and haemodynamic measures of brachial and central blood pressure (BP), aortic stiffness and systemic vascular resistance index (SVRi).


HRE participants had higher rest vWf compared with normotensive response to exercise (NRE) participants (1,927 mU/mL, 95 % CI 1,240–2,615, vs. 1,129 mU/mL, 95 % CI 871–1,386; p = 0.016). vWf levels significantly decreased from rest to post-exercise in HRE participants (p = 0.005), whereas vWf levels significantly increased from rest to exercise in NRE participants (p = 0.030). HRE participants also had increased triglycerides, rest BP, aortic stiffness and exercise SVRi (p < 0.05 for all). Rest vWf predicted exercise brachial systolic BP (β = 0.220, p = 0.043; adjusted R 2 = 0.451, p < 0.001) independent of age, sex, body mass index, triglycerides, rest brachial systolic BP and aortic stiffness.


Increased rest blood levels of vWf are independently associated with moderate intensity exercise systolic BP. These findings implicate abnormalities in haemostasis as a possible factor contributing to HRE at moderate intensity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright: © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
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