MATERIALS AND METHODS: This collaborative research between the National Space Agency (ANGKASA), Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia and Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP), Russia was conducted at the Russian Academy of Sciences IBMP, Moscow, Russia. Six multi-national cosmonauts were assigned to live in a ground-based confined module for 520 days. Standard exercise and diet regime were instituted throughout the isolation phase. Six age, ethnic and gender-matched healthy, free-living ground controls were recruited in parallel. Serial serum and whole blood were analysed for biomarkers of prothrombogenesis [plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and homocysteine] and oxidative stress [oxidised low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and malondialdehyde (MDA)].
RESULTS: There were significantly lower concentrations of PAI-1 and homocysteine in cosmonauts during confinement compared to the controls. There were no significant differences seen in the concentrations of biomarkers of oxidative stress during confinement but there was a significant percentage change increment for serum MDA in cosmonauts.
CONCLUSION: Long-term confinement decreased the risk of prothrombogenesis and this could be attributed to the exercise and diet regime which includes omega-3 fatty acids supplementation given to the crew members during their confinement period. However, oxidative damage could not be excluded and may be attributed to the influence of psychological stress during this prolonged confinement.