Running marathons may up heart attack risk

While aerobic exercise generally benefits health, extreme endurance exercise — like marathon and triathlon — can raise a person’s risk for sudden cardiac arrest and atrial fibrillation, according to a new study. After reviewing more than 300 scientific studies, the research team found that physically active people, such as regular walkers, have up to a 50 per cent lower risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death. However, the team also identified potential risks with intense exercise training, according to the study published in the journal Circulation.
“Exercise is medicine, and there is no question that moderate to vigorous physical activity is beneficial to overall cardiovascular health. However, like medicine, it is possible to underdose and overdose on exercise — more is not always better and can lead to cardiac events, particularly when performed by inactive, unfit individuals with known or undiagnosed heart disease,” said Barry A Franklin, Professor at Oakland University in the US.
“More people are running marathons, participating in triathlons and doing high-intensity interval training. The purpose of this statement is to put the benefits and risks of these vigorous exercise programmes in perspective,” Franklin added.

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