Marathons safe for aging boomers, study finds

September 2, 2012
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.


Related Stories

Recommended for you

Heart attack treatment hypothesis 'busted'

July 6, 2015

Researchers have long had reason to hope that blocking the flow of calcium into the mitochondria of heart and brain cells could be one way to prevent damage caused by heart attacks and strokes. But in a study of mice engineered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.