Marathons safe for aging boomers, study finds

Marathons safe for aging boomers, study finds
Signs of heart stress in 50-somethings resolved within a week, tests showed.

(HealthDay)—It's safe for older adults to run marathons, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Canada tested marathon participants over age 50 before and after their 26.2-mile run. Using blood tests, ultrasounds and scans up to three months later, they found the runners had temporary heart effects similar to those seen in runners aged 18 to 40.

The effects included a brief increase in blood indicators of and temporary swelling and weakness in the right side of the heart immediately after the marathon. All of these effects disappeared within a week.

"There was no evidence of permanent heart damage from repeated marathon running in individuals over the age of 50," primary study author Davinder Jassal, an associate professor of medicine, radiology and physiology, said in a university news release.

The study was published online in August in the Journal of .

Aging populations in Canada and the United States mean there's a growing number of people over age 50 who exercise regularly, the researchers noted. For example, the number of older people taking part in marathons has doubled over the past two decades.

More information: The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a guide to physical activity.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Marathons cut risk of fatal vehicle crashes

Dec 21, 2007

Organised marathons are not associated with an increased risk of sudden death, despite the media attention they attract. In fact, marathons lower the risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes that might otherwise have taken place ...

Recommended for you

NT-proBNP modestly improves CVD risk prediction in women

21 hours ago

(HealthDay)—N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) modestly improves cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction for women, according to a study published in the Oct. 28 issue of the Journal of ...

User comments