Long Distance Running and Coronary Artery Disease

For those of you gearing up for yet another lengthy endurance sports season, consider a recently released study about elite marathoners. Researchers at the Minneapolis Heart Institute and Foundation found that these runners faced a greater risk of accumulating plaque in their coronary arteries – despite having less body fat, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and lower heart rates. Per one of the researchers:

You have to consider that these runners may be in a constant state of inflammation, and that may be why we are seeing more plaque.

This is yet another pillar of support for the notion that systemic inflammation plays a much more substantial role in coronary artery disease than dietary fat or cholesterol.

So do you still want to do those three marathons this year?

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  1. […] Open Water Chicago points to a separate report on the same research in abcNews Researchers at the Minneapolis Heart Institute and Foundation found that these runners faced a greater risk of accumulating plaque in their coronary arteries – despite having less body fat, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and lower heart rates. […]

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