After comparing the levels of cardiac biomarkers, researchers analysed that running a marathon can increase cardiac strain in amateur runners.
Although there was little difference in 10-year risk for cardiovascular events between the runners, the strain on the heart muscle was much greater after a full marathon.
According to a study conducted at the Camilo Jose Cela University, the incidence of cardiac arrests in runners is only about one in 50,000 runners who compete in races, but a high proportion of all exercise-induced cardiac events occur during marathons, especially in older men.
The findings are published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
“We typically assume that marathon runners are healthy individuals, without risk factors that might predispose them to a cardiac event during or after a race. Our findings suggest that running shorter endurance races might reduce the strain imposed on the myocardium during a running competition,” said lead investigator Juan Del Coso.