The idea that long-term endurance exercise increases the risk of arrhythmia should no longer be considered counterintuitive. The list of published studies confirming this association is long, and this week, it got a little longer.
In a study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers from Sweden report a cohort study of more than 52 000 cross-country skiers followed for decades. These were no ordinary weekend athletes; the analyzed group included finishers of the Vasaloppet, a grueling 90-km (55-mile) cross-country ski race. Reliable sources tell me that cross-country skiing over that distance is the Nordic equivalent of an Ironman or double marathon. Yikes.
The null hypothesis of the study held that both the number of races completed (exercise dosage) and finishing time (exercise intensity) associate with arrhythmia. (I would have bet my new mountain bike on that one.)
I hope you want to read more of my thoughts on this study.
Click here to read the full column on theHeart.org. (The column is under 800 words!)
P.S. You may have to register on theHeart.org. It’s free with an email address.