Scientists have revealed that too much exercise can actually kill you.
A new study reveals that white men who work out at least seven and a half (7.5) hours per week suffer a risk of heart diseases – twice as much as those who do a moderate amount of work in the gym.
A comparison of 25-year exercise patterns was compared by researchers in Chicago who made the shocking discovery that very active white men are 86% more likely to experience plaque buildup in the heart arteries by middle age. However, it was discovered that the study did not apply to black men.
It was also suggested that exercise at high levels over time could cause stress onto the arteries, which led to higher coronary artery calcification, otherwise known as CAC.
The team from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Kaiser Permanente studied the physical activity levels of 3,175 black and white men participants in the CARDIA study and assessed the presence of CAC. The presence of CAC is a vital warning signal to doctors that a patient might be at risk of developing heart disease and will lead a Doctor to initiate early preventive measures.
“We expected to see that higher levels of physical activity over time would be associated with lower levels of CAC.” – Deepika Laddu, assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Chicago, College of Applied Health Sciences.
The discoveries, however, showed a very different outcome in that there was no extra risk for black men when at the top level of exercise, but an increased 86% risk for white men.
The study group was subject to 8 follow-up examinations over 25 years starting from 1985 to 2011, from the age of 18 to 30 and finishing at 43 to 55.
The researchers divided the participants into three different distinct groups based on physical activity patterns.
Group 1: defined as exercising below the national guideline of less than 2.5 hours a week.
Group 2: defined as meeting the national guideline of 2.5 hours a week.
Group 3: defined as exercising 3 times over the national guidelines of over 7.5 hours a week.
Overall, group 3 participants were 27% more likely to develop CAC by middle age than the participants in group 1.
When the findings were divided by race and gender, it was discovered that white men were at the highest risk of developing CAC by 86% with no higher odds of CAC for black participants who exercised at the same level. Although the studied showed a similar trend for white women, it was not statistically significant.
“Because the study results show a significantly different level of risk between black and white participants based on long-term exercise trajectories, the data provides rationale for further investigation, especially by race, into the other biological mechanisms for CAC risk in people with very high levels of physical activity.” – Deepika Laddu.