Study: Excessive Running Could Be Linked to Shorter Lifespan

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One of the keys to low cholesterol, healthy blood pressure, and a reduced risk of heart disease is exercise, right? Right, but too much exercise could also be harmful — at least, that’s what a new study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C, says. Dr. Martin Matsumura, co-director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania, presented his findings last weekend and showed evidence that people who get either no exercise or high-mileage runners both tend to have shorter lifespans than moderate runners.

Running was the exercise in question for the study conducted by Matsumura and his team, and according to Health, for their Web-based study of training and health information on runners 35 and older, the colleagues evaluated data from more than 3,800 male and female runners, average age 46. Nearly 70 percent reported running more than 20 miles a week, and for many, the researchers’ conclusions are surprising. They found that although regular running yields a host of health benefits, excessive running could be linked to a shortened life span, even though the reasons why remain unclear.

Health reports that Matsumura’s study is still considered preliminary, because although it was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting, studies are typically viewed as preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal. What’s more, Matsumura still has some questions of his own to answer, and he maintained at the conference last Sunday, “Our study didn’t find any differences that could explain these longevity differences.”

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