Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Br J Sports Med. 2019 Nov 4. Epub 2019 Nov 4. PMID: 31685526
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of running participation and the dose of running with the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality.
DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
DATA SOURCES: Journal articles, conference papers and doctoral theses indexed in Academic Search Ultimate, CINAHL, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, MasterFILE Complete, Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, Open Access Theses and Dissertations, PsycINFO, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Prospective cohort studies on the association between running or jogging participation and the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and/or cancer mortality in a non-clinical population of adults were included.
RESULTS: Fourteen studies from six prospective cohorts with a pooled sample of 232 149 participants were included. In total, 25 951 deaths were recorded during 5.5-35 year follow-ups. Our meta-analysis showed that running participation is associated with 27%, 30% and 23% lower risk of all-cause (pooled adjusted hazard ratio (HR)=0.73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68 to 0.79), cardiovascular (HR=0.70; 95% CI 0.49 to 0.98) and cancer (HR=0.77; 95% CI 0.68 to 0.87) mortality, respectively, compared with no running. A meta-regression analysis showed no significant dose-response trends for weekly frequency, weekly duration, pace and the total volume of running.
CONCLUSION: Increased rates of participation in running, regardless of its dose, would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity. Any amount of running, even just once a week, is better than no running, but higher doses of running may not necessarily be associated with greater mortality benefits.