Are There Interindividual Responses of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Markers to Acute Exercise? A Replicate Crossover Trial

Tonghui Shen, Alice E. Thackray, James A. King, Tareq F. Alotaibi, Turki M. Alanazi, Scott A. Willis, Matthew J. Roberts, Lorenzo Lolli, Greg Atkinson, David J. Stensel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Using a replicated crossover design, we quantified the response heterogeneity of postprandial cardiovascular disease risk marker responses to acute exercise. Methods Twenty men (mean (SD) age, 26 (6) yr; body mass index, 23.9 (2.4) kg·m-2) completed four 2-d conditions (two control, two exercise) in randomized orders. On days 1 and 2, participants rested and consumed two high-fat meals over 9 h. Participants ran for 60 min (61 (7)% of peak oxygen uptake) on day 1 (6.5 to 7.5 h) of both exercise conditions. Time-averaged total area under the curve (TAUC) for triacylglycerol, glucose, and insulin were calculated from 11 venous blood samples on day 2. Arterial stiffness and blood pressure responses were calculated from measurements at baseline on day 1 and at 2.5 h on day 2. Consistency of individual differences was explored by correlating the two replicates of control-adjusted exercise responses for each outcome. Within-participant covariate-adjusted linear mixed models quantified participant-by-condition interactions and individual response SDs. Results Acute exercise reduced mean TAUC-triacylglycerol (-0.27 mmol·L-1·h; Cohen's d = 0.29, P = 0.017) and TAUC-insulin (-25 pmol·L-1·h; Cohen's d = 0.35, P = 0.022) versus control, but led to negligible changes in TAUC-glucose and the vascular outcomes (Cohen's d ≤ 0.36, P ≥ 0.106). Small-to-moderate, but nonsignificant, correlations were observed between the two response replicates (r = -0.42 to 0.15, P ≥ 0.066). We did not detect any individual response heterogeneity. All participant-by-condition interactions were P ≥ 0.137, and all individual response SDs were small with wide 95% confidence intervals overlapping zero. Conclusions Large trial-to-trial within-subject variability inhibited detection of consistent interindividual variability in postprandial metabolic and vascular responses to acute exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan 1



ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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