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Prospective Study of Health in Runners and Walkers

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00005494
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 26, 2000
Last Update Posted : February 29, 2016
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Brief Summary:
To compare rates of coronary heart disease (CHD), cancer, total mortality and exercise injuries in 68,000 runners and 68,000 walkers during four years of surveillance

Condition or disease
Coronary Disease Cardiovascular Diseases Heart Diseases Coronary Heart Disease Risk Reduction Breast Neoplasms Neoplasms

Detailed Description:


Current government physical fitness guidelines state that: 1) the majority of the health benefits from physical activity can be obtained by walking two miles briskly on most days of the week; and 2) the health benefits of physical activity depend principally on the total amount of activity rather than the intensity of the activity. Nevertheless, there are currently no prospective epidemiological studies extant, designed specifically to directly contrast the health benefits and costs of moderate exercise (e.g., walking) versus vigorous exercise (e.g., running).


Before the start of the study, 233,000 person-years of follow-up had been accumulated in 56,000 runners (between 1991 and 1997). The runners were resurveyed in 1997 along with 68,000 walkers. The walkers were also solicited through the publication of the questionnaire in Walking magazine followed by a direct mailing of the questionnaire to 425,000 subscribers. Total and cause-specific mortality will be determined from the National Death Index; fatal and nonfatal cancers will be identified from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) and 46 state registries; nonfatal coronary heart disease and injuries will be determined from questionnaires. Survival analyses will be used to test whether runners have greater reduction in heart disease, total mortality, and cancer per unit of exercise. Exercise-related injuries from walking and running will also be examined. Power calculations suggest that detection of differences between runners and walkers, as small as 11% for total mortality, 16% for CHD, 12% for total cancers, and 36% for breast cancer, will be possible. The differences will be adjusted for weekly kilocalories expended by walking and running, for walking and running distance, and for time spent on each activity to test whether these variables account for differences in disease rates between walkers and runners.

By the end of the study, 517,000 person years in 68,000 runners (between 1991 and 2001) will be available for analysis. Survival analysis will be used to test for a dose-response relationship between running mileage and CHD and cancer risk, and whether this relationship is affected by running intensity, running frequency, running history, gender, adiposity, age or medication use. Using conservative rates (25% below published values), statistical power calculations suggest that detectable reduction in coronary heart disease risk as small as 0.71% per mile will be possible, which is far below the estimated reduction from other published studies (2.1%). Additionally, a detectable reduction in breast cancer risk as small as 1.5% per mile run in women is calculated, which is below the 1.7% reduction in risk estimated from other published data.

The study completion date listed in this record was obtained from the "End Date" entered in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) record.

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Study Type : Observational
Study Start Date : June 1998
Actual Study Completion Date : May 2004

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 100 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
No eligibility criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00005494

Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
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OverallOfficial: Paul Williams University of California Lawrence Berkeley Lab
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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00005494    
Other Study ID Numbers: 5011
R01HL058621 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 26, 2000    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 29, 2016
Last Verified: July 2005
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Breast Neoplasms
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Coronary Disease
Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial Ischemia
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Arterial Occlusive Diseases