Is marathon running good or bad for hearts? And whose? And how? Science doesn’t know yet.
Newspaper reporters just love lurking around medical conferences, or so it would seem. Not willing to wait for papers to come out in journals, peer-reviewed and edited over time, journalists are showing up incognito at ballrooms of large hotels, consulting schedules, jotting notes and taking names.
The thing is, though: just because some group of researchers gives a talk with a particular result, that doesn’t mean that result is true, or applicable, or important or generalizable. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what’s going on; there’s often a period in which different studies yield conflicting results. That’s common in real science. It may take a while for a more accurate picture to come out.
And so it is with a recent study about the relationship between endurance sports and what’s called “vascular age” — something to do with stiffness of arteries, which is bad, and an indicator of greater risk for vascular disease. If that wasn’t helpful, maybe this graph will clear things up: