A study published in the European Heart Journal on Wednesday suggests that extreme endurance athletes may be at risk for long-term cardiac damage. Previous studies have shown that some competitive endurance athletes undergo temporary scarring of the right ventricle, which usually reverses in about a week after competition. This report revealed "more permanent damage" in five of 40 elite Australian athletes studied. In an accompanying editorial, researchers pointed to the growing importance of such studies. "The potential for such projects is enormous considering the colossal increase in participation rates in endurance events such as the marathon," wrote Dr. Sanjay Sharma and Dr. Abbas Zaidi of St. George's University, London.
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