The purpose of this study was to determine whether daily running lengthens the life-span of animals dying prematurely due to cardiovascular disease. We used a strain of rat that is genetically hypertensive and obese and is reported to develop atherosclerosis (Exp. Mol. Pathol. 19: 53--60, 1973). These animals were divided into three groups consisting of runners exercised daily on treadmills from an early age life, food-restricted sedentary rats, and libitum eaters that were sedentary. This latter group had significantly higher average daily food intakes and body weights than either of the other two groups. The average life-span of both sedentary groups was significantly longer than the running group. Runners had a greater frequency of focal myocardial necrosis, but atherosclerosis was absent in all three groups. We speculate that daily running may have accentuated the development of factor s that may have contributed to the early death of runners.
- Copyright © 1980 the American Physiological Society