I seek safe harbour.
Dr. O'Keefe and other researchers have suggested that it's common to see extreme variations (5-fold) in atrial fibrillation when elite level endurance athletes are compared to non-runners, and other studies have found troubling medical anomalies such as:
?Impaired Cardiac Contractile Function
?Decline in Peak Systolic Tissue Velocity
?Cardio Myocyte Damage
?Poor Left Ventricle Function
In April of 2014, The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association published research showing that "long-term male marathon runners may have
paradoxically increased coronary artery plaque volume." And in another study, the researchers compared a group of sedentary men to men that competed in at least one marathon annually for 25 years. Compared to the inactive group, the runners had nearly double the total plaque and calcified plaque volumes, and almost 1.5 times the non-calcified plaque volume.
Not surprisingly, the marathoners in the study from Missouri State had lower resting heart rates, BMI (Body Mass Index), and triglyceride levels than the sedentary group. The fact that "all looks good on the outside," is potentially the most frightening thing. This can be seen in the cardiovascular health of ultra-endurance athletes and cardio kings and queens who continuously put their bodies through a pounding. These guys and girls aren't just running farther than everyone else, they're running more consistently and faster.