With 2018 stretching out before us, shining with promise, many of us have made resolutions to be more active.
Does exercise cause heart disease?
During 2017, three studies came out suggesting that exercise may actually cause heart disease, as older athletes had more atherosclerotic plaques (a build-up of fat in your artery that can lead to a blockage) than people who didn’t exercise.
These athletes weren’t ultramarathoners either. On average they exercised 45 to 60 minutes per day — an amount that many people are already doing and only three times more than the World Health Organization’s physical activity guidelines (150 minutes of moderate activity per week).
A different type of plaque
The studies were also observational, meaning that they were not designed to see if exercise causes plaques. They only compared plaques in those who exercise with those who do not. They were also small studies in terms of the number of participants (between 250 and 3,000) compared to the studies that have shown the benefits of exercise (in the 10,000s and more).
More of this story at The Citizen