Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is bound to apolipoprotein B-100 by disulfide linkage and is associated in the upper density range of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Persons with elevated concentrations of Lp(a) are regarded as having an increased risk for premature coronary artery disease. Although many studies exist evaluating the effects of a single session of exercise on lipids and lipoproteins, little information is available concerning the effects of exercise on Lp(a). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a single exercise session on plasma Lp(a). Twelve physically active men completed two 30-min submaximal treadmill exercise sessions: low intensity (LI, 50% VO2max) and high intensity (HI, 80% VO2max). Blood samples were obtained immediately before and after exercise. Total cholesterol (LI: before 4.22 +/- 0.26, after 4.24 +/- 0.28; HI: before 4.24 +/- 0.31, after 4.11 +/- 0.28 mmol.l-1, mean +/- SE) and triglyceride (LI: before 1.14 +/- 0.16, after 1.06 +/- 0.16; HI: before 1.12 +/- 0.19, after 1.21 +/- 0.19 mmol.l-1) concentrations did not differ immediately after either exercise session, nor did Lp(a) concentrations differ immediately after either exercise session (LI: before 4.1 +/- 2.2, after 4.0 +/- 2.1: HI: before 3.9 +/- 2.2, after 3.7 +/- 2.0 mg.dl-1). These results suggest that neither a low nor a high intensity exercise session lasting 30 min in duration has an immediate effect on plasma Lp(a).