Pro Cyclist Mortality Rates

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therhodeo said:
Just a small list posted above.
I'm going to suggest you fetch a step-ladder as the point here seems to have gone waaaaay over your head. Based on a few well publicised cases people have a belief that X happens. However, when you look at empirical evidence, you actually find that Y is happening, not X. Lesson? A few well publicised cases don't mean much.

Yes, I posted a list of famous riders who died early (and early is the operative word - in that list I would only call Simpson and maybe Pantani "young"). But how many of those deaths have been definitively linked to doping during their pro career? Not all that many, actually. Probably as many as can definitively be linked to death by suicide and death by "natural" causes.
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
2.4. ff. is about testing, detecting, ethics... yet nothing about life expectancy.
The report was referenced for citing De Mondenard's study, which it did as follows:

2.4.3. Empirical data
Even though the link with doping has not been established, it is known that the life expectancy of those who have take part in the Tour de France is lower than average. A study conducted by Jean-Pierre de Mondenard shows that cyclists between 1960 and 1990 had a higher death rate than that of the general population for the younger age brackets (25-34 years and 34-45 years). The most common cause of death was vascular problems.
 
Plus, of course, we've got the litany of names: Fausto Coppi (dead at 40), Gastone Nencini (dead at 49), Hugo Koblet (dead at 39), Tom Simpson (dead at 29), Roger Rivière (dead at 40), Louison Bobet (dead at 58), Jacques Anquetil (dead at 53), Luis Ocaña (dead at 48), Marco Pantani (dead at 34), and Laurent Fignon (dead at 50).
Coppi died of Malaria. Fignon of cancer and Pantani of overdosing & Simpson of doping. The causes of death are so different that it is difficult to build a correlation. If the comparison is made between cyclists and general population dying of old age then a pattern can be determined otherwise it becomes erroneous.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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fmk_RoI said:
The report was referenced for citing De Mondenard's study, which it did as follows:
Can´t you just link the De Mondenard study? Thanks in advance. :) The other link isn´t compatible with what you quote... :confused:
 
IndianCyclist said:
Coppi died of Malaria. Fignon of cancer and Pantani of overdosing & Simpson of doping. The causes of death are so different that it is difficult to build a correlation. If the comparison is made between cyclists and general population dying of old age then a pattern can be determined otherwise it becomes erroneous.
What I said originally:

I do think De Mondenard's 1990s study gave life to the lie that Tour vets die early. [...] Plus, of course, we've got the litany of names
 
Oct 15, 2012
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fmk_RoI said:
I'm going to suggest you fetch a step-ladder as the point here seems to have gone waaaaay over your head. Based on a few well publicised cases people have a belief that X happens. However, when you look at empirical evidence, you actually find that Y is happening, not X. Lesson? A few well publicised cases don't mean much.

Yes, I posted a list of famous riders who died early (and early is the operative word - in that list I would only call Simpson and maybe Pantani "young"). But how many of those deaths have been definitively linked to doping during their pro career? Not all that many, actually. Probably as many as can definitively be linked to death by suicide and death by "natural" causes.
I'd go further. I'd say the larger corrolation with suicide is actually more significant, as in a number of other sports such as, oddly, cricket.
 
Aug 22, 2013
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martinvickers said:
I'd go further. I'd say the larger corrolation with suicide is actually more significant, as in a number of other sports such as, oddly, cricket.
Is that sports, fame or riches that "causes" that?
 
Jul 25, 2010
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How many GT cyclists have lived past 100?

I know in cricket, no test player has ever passed 100. It'd be interesting to see a comparison.
 
Jan 30, 2011
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Izzy eviel said:
How many GT cyclists have lived past 100?
Don't know, but on the issue of mortality rates, it's 100%. There are more dead cyclists than living ones....:)

Sorry, I'll lock myself away again.
 
Aug 20, 2013
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peterst6906 said:
Don't know, but on the issue of mortality rates, it's 100%. There are more dead cyclists than living ones....:)

Sorry, I'll lock myself away again.
Waiting for the opinion on if all these cyclists dope and they live longer, why is doping any different than holding onto a car, cheating on bike equipment, knocking an opponent off the road or any number of unsporting things done in sport?
 
Izzy eviel said:
How many GT cyclists have lived past 100?
To live past 100, you are basically talking about riders who started a GT prior to WWII (taking 25 as the average age for riding your first Tour). With the early riders it's hard to know. For a lot of them we don't even have their date of birth, let alone their date of death. Someone could sit down and do the math, using the available info from MdC or CA, and they would in all likelihood find riders who lived past 100. But they would also have many gaps, where they wouldn't know either or both of the relevant dates.

But let's look at something we do know: TdF podium finishers (a small population, approx 150 strong, give or take a few, fewer than 50 of whom were born before 1913). René Pottier is the youngest to die, a suicide at 25. He's followed by François Faber, Octave Lapize, Ottavio Bottecchia, Marco Pantani, Lucien Petit-Breton, Stan Ockers, Vicente López-Carril and Hugo Koblet in the list of Tour podium stars who died before they were forty.

At the other end of the list, we've got Ambrogio Morelli, Victor Cosson, Guy Lapébie, Hector Heusghem and Kurt Stoepel who all lived into their 90s.

We've also got Ferdi Kübler still going strong at 94 (despite his prodigious amphetamine intake). We've got Jacques Marinelli, Raphaël Géminiani, Bernardo Ruíz, Gilbert Bauvin, Roger Walowiak, Federico Bahamontes, Jean Brankart, Vito Favero, Jan Adriaenssens and Henry Anglade who are all - to the best of my knowledge - all into their 80s and still going strong (if anyone wants to verify their ages and correct my errors, feel free).

So we've got a very small number of Tour podium stars who died young, and each of us probably knows the cause of death for most of them, and that it had little or nothing to do with the stress of the sport. And we've got a goodly number who lived to a very ripe old age or are still going strong.

But. Without comparing these numbers with mortality rates in the real population, what do these cases tell us? Not a lot, really. Except maybe that riders aren't dieing half as young as conventional wisdom would have us believe.
 
One quick useful stat here:

US pop 2010 = 309m. US centenarians in 2010 = 53k.

That's fewer than 0.02% of Americans in 2010 who topped the ton.

Let's assume for a moment here that Europe has a similar rate (crazy, baseless assumption, but work with me on this, this is back of an envelope scribbles, not rocket science). Let's say that there were 50 TdF podium stars born before 1913. Using the US 0.02% figure might lead us to expect 0.01 of them to have topped the ton. So the fact that none of them did means ... what?
 
del1962 said:
To do a proper comparison, you would have to compare pro cyclists with somone who takes regular but not excessive exercise though and had a healthy diet.
To do a "proper" comparison of what? Pro cyclists with people who do regular but not excessive exercise and have a healthy diet?

This *is* a "proper" comparison, of elite French athletes and the general French population. The authors note, very clearly, that people should be careful in the conclusions they draw from it. But it still provides useful information. And is still a "proper" study.
 
Izzy eviel said:
How many GT cyclists have lived past 100?

I know in cricket, no test player has ever passed 100. It'd be interesting to see a comparison.
Inmates at Auschwitz have passed 100, but how many test cricketers would be in the sample of able to pass 100, I think about 700 people have played for England, but the numbers born prior to 1913 would be a vary small sample size.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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Lets say they doped from age of 22 to 32. Thats 10 years of unhealthy living when you are at your best physical shape. Now if these guys on average lived very healthy before and after, I would say they should live longer. Compare that with people working in an asbestos factory or something for 30-40 years and they should definitely live longer.

I think the numbers and cohorts are too small to make any conclusion.

The question could also be: How long would they have lived without the doping? Longer? Shorter? What if doping helped them earn money letting them enjoy a more healthy life after their career?

As for the myth that tdf cyclists die younger? Could be debunked, but I sense there is some really fancy statistics needed there to compare such a micro group to the general population.

So if the guy that propagated the myth was a statistics guru vs the new guys not being that, then I go with the old guy, but if both have good statistics gurus......

Let's just say I'm on the fence, and would need to do a lot of reading to get off it on either side.

As for the rule that they die younger, I don't believe it. It's a possibility, but IMHO certainly not a truth. Same thing the other way. It's a possibility, but not a truth.

I'm confused, by my own confusion. Sorry.:eek:
 
Aug 18, 2012
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fmk_RoI said:
But EPO will not "cause" an embolism a decade after your retirement.
He didn't retire at 24 and he had so many comebacks its hard to tell if his blood was artificially thickened at the point he had the blood clot which led to his death.

From Wikipedia he was registered with Cinneli down under the year he died.
 
Oct 22, 2009
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French TDF riders live longer than average frenchmen.

Just released at ESC 2013 in Holland:

http://www.theheart.org/article/1577479

You need a free account to access content. Good site if you are into cardiology.

here are the highlights:

Amsterdam, the Netherlands (updated) - Elite French cyclists participating in the Tour de France over the past 60 years have a significantly lower rate of mortality than French men in the general population, according to the results of a new study [1].

In evaluating the overall mortality rates of French cyclists who rode in the prestigious event between 1947 and 2012, investigators found the cyclists had a 41% lower mortality rate than men in France and that this lower mortality rate was consistent over time, including periods of reported heavy performance-enhancing-drug use. The lower rate was significant for deaths resulting from cancer and cardiovascular causes, and while it wasn't statistically significant for other causes of death, the mortality trends all favored the cyclists......

Of the 786 French cyclists who rode in the tour since 1947, 208 have died. Of these, 59 cyclists died from cancer, mainly neoplasms of the digestive tract, lung, and prostate, a number that is 44% lower than what would be expected if the cyclists had the same mortality rate as the general male population. Similarly, deaths from cardiovascular causes were reported in 53 cyclists, a 33% lower rate than what would be expected based on estimates in the general male population.

Overall, the cyclists had a higher risk of death related to external causes, although this trend did not reach statistical significance when compared with French men in the general population.

Standardized mortality ratio by causes of death

Mortality
Standardized mortality ratio (95% CI)

Death from all causes
0.59 (0.51-0.68)

Death from neoplasms
0.56 (0.42-0.72)

Death from cardiovascular diseases
0.67 (0.50-0.88)

......

Speaking with heartwire, Dr Alfred Bove (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA), a past president of the American College of Cardiology who competes in triathlons and endurance running events, addressed the performance-enhancing-drug aspect of the tour, saying that whatever these athletes might have taken over the years to gain that critical edge, it didn't shorten their life.

"Now, there are some dangerous doping drugs, adrenalinelike doping drugs," said Bove. "There are some potent heart stimulants. but most of the cyclists, to my understanding, dope with [erythropoietin] EPO to build their red blood cell mass. If you build your red blood cell volume at the right time you can perform better, but from this standpoint, whatever they're doing, it's not doing any long-term harm."
 
Jan 30, 2011
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Are you trying to suggest a doping link to longer life?

Aside from the final quote indicating that EPO doping is not perhaps having a long term effect on life expectancy (I don't know how the study relates to this, since the time since introduction of the EPO era is perhaps not far enough back to make any significant difference yet), there isn't much to this that seems to be about doping.

I don't quite understand why this is in the Clinic.

There are plenty of studies that show living a healthy lifestyle (and most pro cyclists continue to exercise after retirement) leads to longer life.

Possibly it should have just been added to the existing thread, which is still on the front page:

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=21382
 
Oct 22, 2009
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Not trying to suggest anything. I agree, this should have been added to the existing thread. I did not see it. admins, please merge if possible.

Talk of doping = clinic material.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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martinvickers said:
I'd go further. I'd say the larger corrolation with suicide is actually more significant, as in a number of other sports such as, oddly, cricket.
Not that odd perhaps. Cycling and cricket both involve guys spending a long time with the team on the road and not much time at home. As such, the team can represent a kind of family. Then, when retirement occurs, its not just the cheering crowd and centre of the action that they miss but also the personal/social side. That's a theory anyway.
 

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