Most Marathon Runners Get Kidney Damage

April 6, 2017

More than 80% of marathon runners incur acute kidney disease, new research has shown.

A team of scientists led by Yale University medical school’s Chirag Parikh tested a small group of runners before and after the Hartford marathon in 2015, looking at markers such as creatinine serum levels and proteins in urine.

The results were startling: 82% of the runners tested showed symptoms of Stage 1 acute kidney injury (AKI) after the event.

AKI used to be known as sudden renal failure, and is primarily characterised by the inability of the kidneys to adequately remove waste material from the blood, and too little urine leaving the body.

In mild cases symptoms can include shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea and swollen legs. More serious cases result in chest pain, seizures, and coma. Although traditionally associated with the elderly, recent research has identified extended periods of heavy physical exercise – in particular, mine work and military training – with elevated AKI risk.

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