Endurance Athletes May Have More Coronary Artery Calcification But No Greater Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Laura DeFina, MD President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Science Officer The Cooper Institute 

Dr. DeFina

Laura DeFina, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chief Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Several studies suggest that endurance athletes may be at higher risk for asymptomatic hardening of the coronary arteries.  These studies, however, have been done on small numbers of endurance athletes (ie – marathon runners) and do not show whether this increase in hardening actually leads to increase in heart attacks or death of cardiovascular disease.

In our population of 21,758 generally healthy individuals (average age 52 years) who presented for a preventive medicine examination, we were able to evaluate for the presence of hardening and cardiovascular events in individuals who exercised high volumes (≥3000 MET·minutes/week or comparable to running 6 miles/hour for an hour 5 days a week) versus those exercising less. Continue reading