Marathon’s Death Risk For Men Is Twice Women’s
Two important facts emerge from a new study of marathon death risk by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. First, the risk of death during or after a race is very low–only about .75 for every 100,000 runners. Second, men were twice as likely to die as women. A Johns Hopkins news release reports that the researchers found that between 2000 and 2009, 28 people died during or in the 24 hours following, a marathon, most of them men. Half of those who died were over age 45, and all but one in the over-45 group died of heart disease. For younger runners, the cause of death varied widely and included cardiac arrhythmia and hyponatremia, the latter owing to drinking excessive amounts of water. The researchers looked at statistics from approximately 300 marathons per year and found that the number of finishers increased dramatically between 2000 and 2009, from 299,018 to 473,354. They believe the growing popularity of long-distance contests stems partially from evidence linking exercise to better physical and mental health, and to longevity. Marathon running has been associated with decreased risks of hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes and people who run regularly have been found to have lower rates of all-cause mortality and disability. Read more from Johns Hopkins.