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J Hum Ergol (Tokyo). 1977 Sep;6(1):15-27.

Longevity and causes of death of athletes.


Since Morgan, many research workers have attempted to answer the question whether intensive training and athletic competition can alter life span. A review of the literature yields few clear conclusions. The difficulty seems that the human life span is affected by a multiplicity of factors including physical characteristics (sex, age and body type), lifestyle (factors such as habitual activity, smoking and drinking habits and diet), environmental variables (air and water quality, exposure to sunlight, noise etc.), physiological factors, personality and inheritance. Relative to these confounding factors, athletic competition usually occupies too short a portion of the life span to have a significant effect on longevity. The important question may well be not the kind of sport pursued or the intensity of the required training, but whether the activity is continued to an advanced age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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