Our researchers are collaborating on an investigation into changes in the levels of a protein called troponin during marathon running. Together with partners, they are conducting the Brighton Marathon Heart Study at the 2017 Brighton Marathon.
Troponin is a protein present in the cells of the heart that is released into the blood when the heart muscle is stressed or damaged. Previous studies have demonstrated that exercise can cause a rise in troponin levels. This study will increase our understanding of the significance of this rise.
Part of this project is to compare troponin levels between runners with or without heart disease (for example, valvular heart disease, atrial fibrillation, ischaemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy or hypertension with left ventricular hypertrophy).
This research project commenced in January 2017 and will end in July 2017, with the exercise testing session taking place on 18-19 and 25-26 March and the Brighton Marathon on 9 April 2017.
The project aims to quantify the changes in troponin levels in marathon runners with and without structural heart disease and relate these changes to the exercise intensity run during the marathon. Researchers will carry out two studies.
Participants will provide a small blood sample before and after the marathon. One group will provide one sample before, at the pre-race exhibition, and give their second sample shortly after the race in the finish line medical tent. The other group will give both these samples, and additional blood samples at one, three, six and 24 hours after they have finished the marathon.
Participants will complete a short exercise test at our sport science laboratories in Eastbourne in March 2017. The whole process should take no longer than one hour, with the exercise test involving a maximum 20 minutes of running. Again, small blood samples will be taken before and after the race. In addition, a heart monitor will be worn during the race.
This project is ongoing; findings, output and impact will be updated in due course. The research has the potential to identify changes seen in cardiac damage as a result of marathon running.
Dr Polly Baker
Dr Alan Richardson
Dr Rob Galloway, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Dr Todd Leckie, Junior Anaesthetics Trainee