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Increased Average Longevity among the "Tour de France" Cyclists.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21618162     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
It is widely held among the general population and even among health professionals that moderate exercise is a healthy practice but long term high intensity exercise is not. The specific amount of physical activity necessary for good health remains unclear. To date, longevity studies of elite athletes have been relatively sparse and the results are somewhat conflicting. The Tour de France is among the most gruelling sport events in the world, during which highly trained professional cyclists undertake high intensity exercise for a full 3 weeks. Consequently we set out to determine the longevity of the participants in the Tour de France, compared with that of the general population. We studied the longevity of 834 cyclists from France (n=465), Italy (n=196) and Belgium (n=173) who rode the Tour de France between the years 1930 and 1964. Dates of birth and death of the cyclists were obtained on December 31 (st) 2007. We calculated the percentage of survivors for each age and compared them with the values for the pooled general population of France, Italy and Belgium for the appropriate age cohorts. We found a very significant increase in average longevity (17%) of the cyclists when compared with the general population. The age at which 50% of the general population died was 73.5 vs. 81.5 years in Tour de France participants. Our major finding is that repeated very intense exercise prolongs life span in well trained practitioners. Our findings underpin the importance of exercising without the fear that becoming exhausted might be bad for one's health.
Authors:
F Sanchis-Gomar; G Olaso-Gonzalez; D Corella; M C Gomez-Cabrera; J Vina
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-5-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of sports medicine     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1439-3964     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-5-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8008349     Medline TA:  Int J Sports Med     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
Affiliation:
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valencia, Spain.
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