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Olympic Medalists Live Longer than General Population: Study

Update Date: Dec 16, 2012 04:23 PM EST
Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps in the 400 IM
Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps in the 400 IM (Photo : Flickr)

According to study published in the British Medical Journal that has examined more than fifteen thousand Olympic medalists between 1986 and 2010, medalist lives nearly three years longer than general populatoin.

Athletes in the research includes medalist from United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.

So far this is the most comprehensive analysis covering multiple countries that has ever been conducted and while it showed less of an advantage for wrestlers, boxers and others "power sports", it still revealed a small advantage nonetheless.

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The study shows that maintaining regular exercise schedule as the biggest factor for medalist living longer than normal people.

"Although the evidence points to a small survival benefit of being an Olympian, careful reflection suggests that similar health benefits and longevity could be achieved by all of us through regular physical activity," she says Adrian Bauman, MD, PhD, of Sydney University.

However, how much training athletes need in order to take advantage of the lengevity, however, isn't yet clear.

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