Marathoners have elevated levels of protein linked to heart attacks

January 30th, 2009 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 30 (IANS) People running marathons are likely to have elevated levels of a protein linked to heart attacks, though it does not affect them adversely.These findings were reported by Daniel Fatovich and Samuel V, associate professors in University of Western Australia (UWA). They co-authored a paper after studying 92 runners who competed in the 2007 Perth Marathon.

“What was interesting was that the marathon runners were not adversely affected by these elevated levels of troponin - it didn’t seem to cause any health issues for them,” said Fatovich.

“It seems that in a healthy exercising population, troponin is routinely released from the heart muscle after periods of increased demand on the heart,” he said.

Fatovich, emergency medicine specialist at Royal Perth Hospital, said elevated levels of the heart protein troponin were commonly used as an indicator when diagnosing a heart attack, said an UWA release.

“We found raised troponin levels in a third of those who completed the marathon, with the strongest predictors being weight loss and an increase in creatinine levels.

“Creatinine is a measure of kidney function,” he said. “This suggests that the kidneys are working hard to clear the extra troponin from the body. ”

These findings were published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

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