Acute Running and Coronary Heart Disease Risk Markers in Male Cigarette Smokers and Nonsmokers: A Randomized Crossover Trial

Tareq F. Alotaibi, Alice E. Thackray, Matthew J. Roberts, Turki M. Alanazi, Nicolette C. Bishop, Alex J. Wadley, James A. King, Emma O'Donnell, Michael C. Steiner, Sally J. Singh, David J. Stensel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and is associated with impaired postprandial metabolism. Acute exercise reduces postprandial lipemia and improves other coronary heart disease risk markers in nonsmokers. Less is known about responses in cigarette smokers. Methods Twelve male cigarette smokers (mean ± SD; age = 23 ± 4 yr, body mass index = 24.9 ± 3.0 kg·m-2) and 12 male nonsmokers (age = 24 ± 4 yr, body mass index = 24.1 ± 2.0 kg·m-2) completed two, 2-d conditions (control and exercise) in a randomized crossover design. On day 1, participants rested for 9 h (0800-1700) in both conditions except a 60-min treadmill run (65% ± 7% peak oxygen uptake, 2.87 ± 0.54 MJ) was completed between 6.5 and 7.5 h (1430-1530) in the exercise condition. On day 2 of both conditions, participants rested and consumed two high-fat meals over 8 h (0900-1700) during which 13 venous blood samples and nine resting arterial blood pressure measurements were collected. Results Smokers exhibited higher postprandial triacylglycerol and C-reactive protein than nonsmokers (main effect group effect size [Cohen's d] ≥ 0.94, P ≤ 0.034). Previous day running reduced postprandial triacylglycerol, insulin, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (main effect condition d ≥ 0.28, P ≤ 0.044) and elevated postprandial nonesterified fatty acid and C-reactive protein (main effect condition d ≥ 0.41, P ≤ 0.044). Group-condition interactions were not apparent for any outcome across the total postprandial period (0-8 h; all P ≥ 0.089), but the exercise-induced reduction in postprandial triacylglycerol in the early postprandial period (0-4 h) was greater in nonsmokers than smokers (-21%, d = 0.43, vs-5%, d = 0.16, respectively; group-condition interaction P = 0.061). Conclusions Acute moderate-intensity running reduced postprandial triacylglycerol, insulin, and resting arterial blood pressure the day after exercise in male cigarette smokers and nonsmokers. These findings highlight the ability of acute exercise to augment the postprandial metabolic health of cigarette smokers and nonsmokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1032
Number of pages12
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 1
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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