Long term effects of marathon running on cardiac health


  • Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education


In the last two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of athletes training for and participating in organized and recreational long-long-distance running, such as marathons. However, while the beneficial cardiovascular effects long-distance running are well documented, little is known about potential negative cardiac effects of long-term repetitive marathon running. Observational data have shown elevated cardiac markers among marathoner runners, leading to the hypothesis that myocardial injury due to prolonged hypoxemia might take place, potentially leading to myocardial fibrosis (MF), but with a highly variable incidence. There is an urgent need for awareness among runners of potential detrimental cardiac effects of long-distance running.


To assess the proportion of subjects who has myocardial fibrosis using late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRC) among long term (> 5 years) marathon runners, compared to sedentary age matched controls.


Does repetitive long term marathon running cause myocardial fibrosis?


Case control study in a defined specific endurance running population compared to a matched controls. Consecutive sampling is used for the exposed subjects who meet the inclusion criteria. Dose of training (kilometers), participation hours, and cardiac findings (LGE on MRI) will be taken for analysis.