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The dose of running that best confers longevity
  1. James H O'Keefe1,
  2. Peter Schnohr2,
  3. Carl J Lavie3,4
  1. 1 Saint Luke's Hospital Mid America Heart Institute, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
  2. 2 Copenhagen City Heart Study, Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3 John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School-The University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana,USA
  4. 4 Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr James H O'Keefe, Saint Luke's Hospital Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO and University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, 4330 Wornall Rd, Ste 2000, Kansas City, MO 64111, USA; jokeefe{at}

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The Authors' reply In the interim since our editorial was published,1 the Copenhagen City Heart Study focusing on longevity in joggers, has been published in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal.2 This large prospective longitudinal observational study followed 1878 joggers and 10 158 non-joggers for up to 35 years. They found that joggers, as compared with the non-joggers, had a remarkable 44% lower risk of mortality during follow-up for both men and women. The age-adjusted increase in survival was about 6 years in both genders. However, U-shaped curves were apparent for mortality with respect to quantity of jogging (figure 1), estimated running speed (figure 2), and frequency of jogging (figure 3). These curves suggest that the benefits of jogging are most robust for those who jog between 1 and 2.5 h per week, at a slow to moderate pace, at a frequency of about 2 or 3 times per week. In those joggers who were doing a higher volume, higher-intensity running, the long-term mortality rates were not significantly different from non-joggers. In other words, overdoing the running substantially diminishes the remarkable gains in longevity conferred by moderate jogging.

Figure 1

Quantity of jogging and mortality. Green bars: significantly different than non-joggers (referent).

Figure 2

Jogging pace (running speed as estimated by the jogger) and mortality. Green bars: significantly different than non-joggers (referent).

Figure 3

Frequency …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the concept, analysis, and formation of this manuscript. It was reviewed and accepted by all involved.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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