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Study: Too Many Marathons Can Kill

Study: Too Many Marathons Can Kill

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (UPI) — Running too many marathons in a lifetime could be dangerous for the heart and lead to an early death, U.S. medical researchers said.

The heart is designed only for “short bursts” of intense activity, a study by Dr. James O’Keefe and Carl Lavie of St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., found.

Marathon running forces the heart to pump massive amounts of blood for hours at a time, leading to overstretching of the heart’s chambers, thickening of its walls and changes to electrical signaling, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

“In addition, long-term excessive exercise may accelerate aging in the heart, as evidenced by increased coronary artery calcification, diastolic ventricular dysfunctio, and large-artery wall stiffening,” the researchers wrote in their report published in the journal Heart.  “… Running too fast, too far and for too many years may speed one’s progress towards the finish line of life.”

The damage caused by a marathon will rapidly heal, though repeated endurance exercise can lead to scarring, The Independent reported.

“If one really wants to do a marathon or full-distance triathlon … it may be best to do just one or a few and then proceed to safer and healthier exercise patterns,” the researchers said.

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  • Combat seabee

    The person that wrote the book, “The Joy of Running,” died while running! Need I say more?

    • Robert Smith

      Jimm Fixx is who you are talking about. But in his case it wasn’t the running but very bad genes. It’s like Steven King was hit by a car and severely injured while taking a walk. Coincidental isn’t necessarily causative.

      But, like smoking tobacco or drinking booze… It’s legal and who has the right to stop someone?


      • Robert Smith

        IOW, get the word out and let folks decide for themselves.


      • duane

        Calling the kettle black again! Its the libtards of your political slant that want to ban all smoking and drinking. Its the nanny state pukes who want to give out free abortions, and have the tax payers pay for it. [comment has been edited]

      • Robert Smith

        Duane, Duane, Duane, as I said, I’m in favor of letting individuals know about the risk and then the can decide for themselves.

        Why did you lie about me?


  • Kate8

    I have heard this before.

    I have a friend who has been an avid bicyclist for all his adult life. He also has had increasing heart problems.

    He isn’t happy with just riding for enjoyment. He’s a mountain biker, so he does all of the steep uphill rides, and pushes himself beyond endurance each time (3 times a week, when his heart isn’t a-fibbing). He keeps pushing for new records, thinking that he’s doing good for his health.

    His heart issues are increasing continually. I guess I might want to let him know that he may be, inadvertently, causing the opposite of what he’s after. (This has already resulted in 2 small stroke incidents from throwing clots while in afib.). And heart scans show clear arterial walls.

    Perhaps this merits another look.

    • Wil

      Just wondering about that myself,been an avid cyclist for years.Perhaps it’s time to rethink.

      • Robert Smith

        Or drop back to a more moderate amount.

        I suspect that going to zero wouldn’t be very good if cycling is something you enjoy.

        It’s beginning to look like extremes in anything aren’t very good for individuals or society.



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