Marathons Safe for Runners Over 50
Marathons, one of the most grueling sports events, is safe for runners over 50, according to a new study.
Although runners in the 26.2 mile event showed effects on their heart, runners over 50 showed the same degree of those effects as did runners age 18 to 40. The effects included a brief swelling of the heart and, through blood analysis, indicators of heart damage. But the effects lasted only for a week in both age groups.
“There was no evidence of permanent heart damage from repeated marathon running in individuals over the age of 50,” primary study author Davinder Jassal, associate professor of in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Canada, said in a statement.
Jassal and a team of researchers tested runners in the 2010 and 2011 Manitoba Full Marathon. The volunteers underwent blood tests, echocardiography, a CT scan and an MRI.
The effects on the heart among the younger runners were already known, but this was the first study to examine the heart effects among an older group.
As the Boomer generation grows older, it’s likely that because of its interest in fitness, there will be an increasing number of over-50 runners.
The study was published in the “Journal of Cardiovascular MRI.”