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Effects of winter swimming on haematological parameters

Giovanni Lombardi ; I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milano, Italy
Christian Ricci ; U.O. Epidemiologia Clinica, I.R.C.C.S. Policlinico San Donato, Milano, Italy
Giuseppe Banfi ; I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milano, Italy and School of Medicine, University of Milano, Milano, Italy

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 131 Kb

str. 71-78

preuzimanja: 1.186



Introduction: Winter swimming represents an intensive short-term exposure to cold, and thus it is considered a strong physical stress. Cold-based treatments, i.e. immersions in cold water, are spreading in sport medicine for improving recovery following muscle traumas, although a universal acceptance of that method is not still achieved.
Materials and methods: Fifteen healthy subjects (13 males and 2 females) were recruited among the participants to a 150 meters long swimming race in cold water (6 °C). Blood samples were collec-ted the day before and immediately after the race and a panel of haematological parameters was eva-luated.
Results: Swimming in cold water induced a significant variation in the blood cell fraction composition compared to the rest condition, as measured the day before the competition. Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets count increased significantly (4.7%, P = 0.005; 40.6%, P < 0.001 and 25.0%, P < 0.001, respectively). While the relative number of leukocytes did not change significantly, apart from a strong decrease of the eosinophils population (-48.6%; P < 0.001), a strong increase in the total number of neutrophil granulocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes was recorded (42.6%, P = 0.002, 58.2%, P = 0.001 and 27.5%, P = 0.021, respectively). Following normalization on plasma vo-lume change (-2.54%) the results were unchanged, demonstrating that the variations were not due to a mere haemoconcentration.
Conclusions: When represented by brief exposure to cold water, winter swimming induces strong non-pathological modifications of haematological homeostasis.

Ključne riječi

winter swimming, cold stress, red blood cells, platelets, leukocytes, haematology

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