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September 16, 1974

Marathon Running After Myocardial Infarction

JAMA. 1974;229(12):1637-1638. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230500055030

The article of Kavanagh et al of the same title that appears elsewhere in this issue (page 1602) presents extraordinary documentation of the beneficial effects of "competitive" endurance running in eight men between 32 and 49 years of age who survived one or more myocardial infarctions. Although not the first report of successful participation in competitive sports, it exceeds in enthusiasm the report of Gottheiner1 from Israel.

What can we learn from this unusual experience? The men differed in at least two respects from the usual spectrum of survivors of one or more infarctions. They displayed no evidence of any functional aerobic impairment after several months of running 10 to 45 miles per week, and they were unusually well motivated.

Averaging reported values of maximal oxygen uptake by "oxygen scale" and by "work scale" coincided with the value predicted by regression on age for active normal men.2 The