Research Research themes Vascular damage Impact of physical activity on vascular health
Physical inactivity represents the leading modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The research of Eijsvogels and Thijssen strongly focuses on (i) understanding the cardioprotective effects of exercise; (ii) evidence-based recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. In understanding the cardioprotective effects of exercise, they have improved our insight into the role of hemodynamic stimuli (e.g. shear stress) to mediate remodeling of vascular function and structure (Physiol Rev 2017), cardiac adaptations (JACC Cardiovasc Imaging 2017), and plaque characteristics (Circulation 2017). They have also revealed the immediate cardioprotection achieved through a single bout of exercise (JAMA Cardiol 2018). Regarding the evidence-based guidelines, the work resulted in the recommendation of daily bouts of about 8 minutes exercise (JAMA 2015). Finally, they have performed several studies around the impact of the Nijmegen 4-Day Marches (including long-term follow-up in over 20,000 subjects), leading to better understanding and recommendation of walking exercise in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. This research is performed in close collaboration with investigators from the theme Mitochondrial diseases.