First-time marathon training could rejuvenate your heart

First-time marathon training could rejuvenate your heart

New radiotracer can provide insights into how the heart recovers after myocardial infarction Three areas of the aorta were selected for the measurement of aortic stiffness. At the start of the study, the distensibility of the aorta at these sites was reduced by 2.3, 1.9 and 3.1 × 10−3 mm Hg−1, respectively, for every ten years of chronological aging. The findings When the people training for the marathon were assessed for aortic elasticity, the tests showed that aortic stiffness had regressed to a value more typical of people four years younger, on average. The older the runner, the greater the gain. We were gratified to see that it’s possible to improve things in older people that you think would have established irreversible changes.” Charlotte Man isty , UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science Of the three areas tested, the descending aorta at the pulmonary trunk bifurcation showed a 9% improvement in elasticity, while it improved by 16% in the aortic trunk at the diaphragm. This translates into a reduced biological aortic age by about four years. Though a small reduction, even this had not been known to happen earlier, and the finding was therefore unexpected. The benefits were more marked in the case of older male runners who took a longer time to finish the marathon. More than the amount of elasticity regained, the fact that it occurred at all was very significant to the researchers, who explained: “Four years doesn’t seem like a significant change, but it wasn’t known you could do that before.” Along with increased flexibility, the blood pressure also dropped by four points (systolic) and three points (diastolic). The researchers took care to exclude people who already had high blood pressure. The beneficial effects of marathon training on this subgroup will, therefore, have to be investigated in the future. The scientists also need to see whether there must be a level of activity required to ensure that blood vessels regain their elasticity. These benefits did not need world-class performances to be evident. Even in this novice group who ran the marathon about 30 minutes slower than the average runner, the drop in blood pressure and the improved aortic flexibility show, in the words of Manisty, that “This is running for health benefits for normal, real-world people running real-world marathons.” Secondly, as the researchers point out, the study shows it’s never too late for a healthy person to begin to reverse the risks of aging by lifestyle modifications like low-intensity sports. And for the incorrigible non-runners, Manisty recommends they take up other active sports, such as cycling. In fact, cycling could probably help them become more fit since it is better at aiding goal-oriented training, in the same way as training for a marathon. Sources Anish N.Bhuva, AndrewD’Silva, CamillaTorlasco, Siana Jones, Niromila Nadarajan, Jet Van Zalen, Nish Chaturvedi, Guy Lloyd, Sanjay Sharma, James C.Moon, Alun D.Hughes, Charlotte H.Manisty. Training for a first-time marathon reverses age-related aortic stiffening. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 75, Issue 1, 7–14 January 2020, Pages 72-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.10.045 . https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S073510971938369X?via %3Dihub Journal reference: Anish N.Bhuva, AndrewD’Silva, CamillaTorlasco, Siana Jones, Niromila Nadarajan, Jet Van Zalen, Nish Chaturvedi, Guy Lloyd, Sanjay Sharma, James C.Moon, Alun D.Hughes, Charlotte H.Manisty. Training for a first-time marathon reverses age-related aortic stiffening. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 75, Issue 1, 7–14 January 2020, Pages 72-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.10.045 .



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