Performance Trends and Cardiac Biomarkers in a 30-km Cross-Country Race, 1993–2007
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 05/07/2012
Aagaard P et al. - Whereas participation in the Lidingöloppet increased, fitness deteriorated over time in both genders and in all ages. In a subset of older male athletes, longer run times were associated with higher levels of N-terminal pro–brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). The present findings may support the usefulness of preparticipation evaluation to ensure appropriate fitness and cardiovascular health in long-distance race participants.Methods
- The authors analyzed a database containing age, gender, run times, and previous race participation of 124,608 runners finishing the Lidingöloppet (30 km) between 1993 and 2007.
- In 249 male runners age ≥45 yr, the authors also performed a thorough cardiovascular examination, including measuring the cardiac biomarkers N-terminal pro–brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and troponin.
- Total participation increased 56% with the largest gains in younger female and older male runners.
- Mean run times rose from 164 ± 27 min in 1993 to 184 ± 33 min in 2007 (P < 0.001) in men and from 179 ± 26 to 203 ± 32 in women (P < 0.001) after a strong linear relationship (men, r = 0.98; women, r = 0.93).
- Increased run times were seen in the mean, top, and bottom quartiles as well as in the top and bottom 5% of all age and gender groups.
- In the substudy among 249 older male runners, not only higher body mass index, older age, and fewer previous race participations but also higher baseline NT-proBNP was independently associated with increased run time.