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Editor's Correspondence
April 13, 2009

On Running Late in Life—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(7):720. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.36

In reply

We thank Höglund and Nilsson for their comments regarding our study of disability and mortality among healthy older runners.1 We found that regular vigorous exercise was associated with large and long-term benefits in both disability and mortality over a 21-year period starting at a mean age of 58 years. Results were robust and persisted in a longitudinal analysis by sex and by ever-runner and never-runner grouping and after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, and baseline disability. The mortality data (National Death Index Plus) and the disability data (patient report) buttress each other. Conservatively, we kept all subjects in their original groups throughout regardless of changes in running or status and we did not exclude control subjects who exercised. The control population was well educated, had normal body mass index scores, and had a relatively low prevalence of smoking. We agree that our results may have been stronger had we used control subjects that were population based.

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