Longevity in male and female joggers: the Copenhagen City Heart Study

Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Apr 1;177(7):683-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kws301. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


Since 1970, jogging has become an increasingly popular form of exercise, but concern about harmful effects has been raised following reports of deaths during jogging. The purpose of this study was to investigate if jogging, which can be very vigorous, is associated with increased all-cause mortality in men and women. Jogging habits were recorded in a random sample of 17,589 healthy men and women aged 20-98 years, invited between 1976 and 2003 to the Copenhagen City Heart Study. The expected lifetime was calculated by integrating the predicted survival curve estimated in the Cox model. In this study 1,878 persons (1,116 men and 762 women) were classified as joggers. During the 35-year maximum follow-up period, we registered 122 deaths among joggers and 10,158 deaths among nonjoggers. The age-adjusted hazard ratio of death among joggers was 0.56 (95% confidence interval: 0.46, 0.67) for men and 0.56 (95% confidence interval: 0.40, 0.80) for women. The age-adjusted increase in survival with jogging was 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women. This long-term study of joggers showed that jogging was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality and a substantial increase in survival for both men and women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Jogging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Longevity*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors