Responses

Download PDFPDF
Outrunning the grim reaper: longevity of the first 200 sub-4 min mile male runners
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g. higgs-boson@gmail.com
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests

PLEASE NOTE:

  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

  • Published on:
    Have we forgotten about the healthy worker effect when comparing elite athletes to the general population?
    • Daphne I Ling, Associate Professor National Cheng Kung University and Weill Cornell Medicine

    The "healthy worker effect" is an obvious explanation for the authors' findings. In this case, they have compared the extreme winners of the genetic lottery (sub 4-minute mile male runners) with the general population, a mixed bag of healthy and non-healthy people. The outcome of all-cause mortality also presents issues, as the reason of death may or may not be health-related.

    The steep decline in the longevity advantage over time indicates that this advantage may not last as the general population becomes healthier (and possibly more active). It is plausible that there may even be an opposite effect (sub 4-minute mile male runners live shorter lives) in the coming decades.

    While general population statistics are easier to obtain, comparing them with those of elite athletes to make conclusions about lifespan does not answer the question of whether extreme exercise has a detrimental effect on health. A more fair comparison group would be marathoners, short-distance runners, or even runners who have not broken the 4-minute mark.

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.