ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
CANCER
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
FITNESS
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Run for Your Life
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Drink Away Dementia?
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Add your Article

Run for Your Life

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- It may, in fact, be possible to outrun death -- and even the creeping ravages of time -- at least for a while.

Research spanning two decades has found that older runners live longer and suffer fewer disabilities than healthy non-runners.

And the findings probably apply to a variety of aerobic exercises, including walking, said the study authors, from Stanford University School of Medicine, whose findings are published in the Aug. 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"This is telling you that being a runner, being active is going to reduce your disability, and it's going to increase your survival," said Marcia Ory, professor of social and behavioral health at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health in College Station. "Late in life, you still see the benefit of vigorous activity."

In 1980, the study's lead author, Dr. James Fries, emeritus professor of medicine at Stanford, wrote a landmark paper outlining his "compression of morbidity" hypothesis. The theory held that regular exercise would compress, or reduce, the amount of time near the end of life when a person was disabled or unable to carry out the activities of daily living, such as walking, dressing and getting out of a chair.

"Illness would be compressed between later age of onset and age of death, and that paradigm was controversial, because it went against conventional wisdom and had no proof," Fries explained.

At the time, many experts believed that vigorous exercise would actually harm older individuals. And running, in particular, would result in an epidemic of joint and bone injuries.

But this new study proves otherwise.

Two hundred and eighty-four runners and 156 healthy "controls," or non-runners, in California completed annual questionnaires over a 21-year period. The participants were 50 years old or over at the beginning of the study and ran an average of about four hours a week. By the end of the study period, the participants were in their 70s or 80s or older and ran about 76 minutes a week.

At 19 years, just 15 percent of the runners had died, compared with 34 percent of the non-runners.

Also, said Fries, who is almost 70, runs 20 miles a week and plays tennis, "Running delayed the onset of disability by an average of 16 years, and that is largely a conservative number, because the control group was pretty darn healthy."

And the slew of predicted orthopedic injuries never materialized.

Surprisingly, the health gap between runners and non-runners only increased with time. "I always thought that the two curves would start to parallel each other and that eventually aging would overpower exercise," Fries said. "I think that will happen, but we can't find even a little twitch toward that gap narrowing in the present time."

Which is not to say that running is the only activity that's good for you.

"Vigorous activity has a really dramatic impact, but we can't ignore that there are also helpful benefits to people who are active at all levels, meaning those people who are just out walking" said Ory. "It's so important to be physically active your whole life, not just in your 20s or 40s, but forever."

Added Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City: "Exercise is like the most potent drug. Exercise is by far the best thing you can do."

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institute on Aging for more on healthy aging.



SOURCES: James Fries, M.D., emeritus professor of medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.; Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., director, women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Marcia G. Ory, Ph.D., professor of social and behavioral health, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, College Station; Aug. 11, 2008, Archives of Internal Medicine

Last Updated: Aug. 11, 2008

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