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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Jun - Jul;60(1):45-55. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2017.03.005. Epub 2017 Mar 30.

Running as a Key Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity.

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Department of Kinesiology, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Electronic address:
Department of Kinesiology, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.
Department of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT.
Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School, University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA.


Running is a popular and convenient leisure-time physical activity (PA) with a significant impact on longevity. In general, runners have a 25%-40% reduced risk of premature mortality and live approximately 3 years longer than non-runners. Recently, specific questions have emerged regarding the extent of the health benefits of running versus other types of PA, and perhaps more critically, whether there are diminishing returns on health and mortality outcomes with higher amounts of running. This review details the findings surrounding the impact of running on various health outcomes and premature mortality, highlights plausible underlying mechanisms linking running with chronic disease prevention and longevity, identifies the estimated additional life expectancy among runners and other active individuals, and discusses whether there is adequate evidence to suggest that longevity benefits are attenuated with higher doses of running.


Cardiovascular disease; Exercise; Mortality; Physical activity; Running


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