Thursday, May 24, 2012
No Increase in Sudden Death Among Marathon Runners
In what is probably the most comprehensive review on the subject, researchers at Johns Hopkins University reviewed deaths among marathoners for a ten-year period in the United States.
The article was published on May 4, 2012 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, and examined 3,718,336 marathon runners in the United States between 2000 and 2009.
During that period there were 28 deaths among participants during the marathon and up to 24 hours after finishing. The overall death rate was 0.75 per 100,000 finishers.
Heart attack (myocardial infarction) was the most common cause of death 93%. The average age of death was 41.5 years.
During the period of 2000 to 2009, there was a significant increase in the number of Americans completing a marathon: 299,018 in 2000 and 473,354 in 2009. During this period, despite an increase in the number of marathoners, there was no change in death rate.