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Due to conflicting reports on the impact of exercise on haematological and immunological indices, this study investigated the effects of exercise on some haematological and cellular immune markers in male athletes. Blood samples were collected from 86 apparently healthy male athletes before and after exercise training using standardized methods. Similarly, blood samples were obtained from 100 male non-athletes and served as control. Blood samples collected from athletes and non-athletes were subjected to experimental evaluation of some haematological and cellular immune biomarkers using standard techniques. Results showed that, with the exception of neutrophils that significantly increased after exercise in athletes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and clusters of differentiation counts significantly (p<0.05) decreased in athletes after exercise. Also, with the exception of platelets, other haematological parameters assayed in this study significantly (p<0.05) decreased in athletes after exercise. However, there was no significant change in these parameters between athletes at rest and non-athletes. This study concludes that heavy training could lead to an open window of immunodepression leading to susceptibility to infection in athletes and non-athletes alike.
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