Too much exercise tough on the heart?

Researchers from the New York University Medical Center looked at questionnaires from some 17,000 healthy men.

Those who took part in vigorous exercise at least five days a week raised their risk of atrial fibrillation by 20 percent. In that group, the risk was raised to 74 percent among younger men and to 53 percent among joggers.

Atrial fibrillation consists of a rapid heart rate, which causes an inefficient amount of blood to be pumped through the heart.

The condition can be controlled with treatment, but it can lead to fainting, heart failure and stroke.

Researchers acknowledge that other unknown factors may have influenced the results of the study.

The study is published in the American Journal of Cardiology, June 1, 2009

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