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Riis' Health

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forty four said:
yes true but endurance athletes heart rates are only elevated when riding otherwise there heart rates are much lower than that of average out of shape fat american. as an example at rest im in the 50's or 40's hr. i have been around sedentary types whos resting was close to 100 no health problems either just sadly out of shape. i would think total heart beats in a year might actually be less for endurance athletes than for people beating away at 80 to 120 all day.

sorry, didn't see your post before sending mine
 
Darryl Webster said:
I recall some research in the 80`s that looked into the effects of GT riding on life expetancy and found that the average was reduced. Not by a vast amount as I recall but still significant.
Perhaps others might recall this research..I believe it was conducted by French academics and correlated average age at death of a large number of TDF riders from years gone by.

You might be referring to the statistics kept by De Mondenard, a French medical Dr, definitely one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject of doping.

He keeps adding to his database. A few years ago he published a huge "dictionnary" on doping easily found on the net.

His studies show that while pre WWII pro cyclists (or Tdf racers, not sure which) outlived the general population by many years, the situation has reversed itself since WWII.

However, it does not seem to me that he tries to make a scientific study : he does not try to match samples of racers vs general population, etc. He also lumps together racers whose deaths may have been from causes probably unrelated to doping .
ex of such deaths

- Ocana committed suicide because he was going to die from cancer if i remember correctly
- Claveyrolat because he got into depression after causing a car accident that maimed a child for life
- El Chaba's problems before his suicide may have been related to his doping, but it's not certain
- Koblet car accident (could have been suicide)
- Robic car accident........
It's not easy to make a scientifically valid comparison of a small group with the general population, at most you can get hints.

Still, if the differences are huge you can reasonably draw some conclusions, example :

Selon le docteur Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, qui a étudié les dossiers médicaux des participants du tour de France depuis 1947, pour les coureurs le risque de décès cardiaque avant 45 ans est cinq fois supérieur à la moyenne.

For TdF participants, the odds for dying from heart problems before age 45 are 5 times higher than in the general population.
 
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The Hitch said:
Also if this hasnt been posted already, i read somewhere that fignon was the most recent of a number of tour winners to die before the age of 60. Who else. Antequil, Pantani, Luis Ocana and of those, only Pantani is from the epo era.
Obviously not all of those are because of doping but it seems the lifespan of a tdf winner isnt as long as other proffesions.

2 of the people you listed killed them self. Luis Ocana is the synonym for bad luck.
 
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Le breton said:
You might be referring to the statistics kept by De Mondenard, a French medical Dr, definitely one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject of doping.

He keeps adding to his database. A few years ago he published a huge "dictionnary" on doping easily found on the net.

His studies show that while pre WWII pro cyclists (or Tdf racers, not sure which) outlived the general population by many years, the situation has reversed itself since WWII.

However, it does not seem to me that he tries to make a scientific study : he does not try to match samples of racers vs general population, etc. He also lumps together racers whose deaths may have been from causes probably unrelated to doping .
ex of such deaths

- Ocana committed suicide because he was going to die from cancer if i remember correctly
- Claveyrolat because he got into depression after causing a car accident that maimed a child for life
- El Chaba's problems before his suicide may have been related to his doping, but it's not certain
- Koblet car accident (could have been suicide)
- Robic car accident........
It's not easy to make a scientifically valid comparison of a small group with the general population, at most you can get hints.

Still, if the differences are huge you can reasonably draw some conclusions, example :

Selon le docteur Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, qui a étudié les dossiers médicaux des participants du tour de France depuis 1947, pour les coureurs le risque de décès cardiaque avant 45 ans est cinq fois supérieur à la moyenne.

For TdF participants, the odds for dying from heart problems before age 45 are 5 times higher than in the general population.

Cheers for that..sounds like the study I was refering to.
Incidently I was offered a contract by Luis Ocana to ride for Fagor after finishing 4th in GP France amatuer TT in 84. Somat about the guy didnt feel right. I declined.
Re his suicide ,the storey I heard at the time was his vineyard business was in serious dept and personal life in turmoil and it all became to much. Not heard of a cancer diagnosis.
 
Darryl Webster said:
Cheers for that..sounds like the study I was refering to.
Incidently I was offered a contract by Luis Ocana to ride for Fagor after finishing 4th in GP France amatuer TT in 84. Somat about the guy didnt feel right. I declined.
Re his suicide ,the storey I heard at the time was his vineyard business was in serious dept and personal life in turmoil and it all became to much. Not heard of a cancer diagnosis.

4th in GP France, good for you! In 84 you say, then you must have known David Mayer-Oakes.

Went to check on wiki

Il est atteint d'une hépatite C suite à une transfusion sanguine, hépatite conduisant ensuite à un cancer du foie. Se sachant condamné à brève échéance il se suicide le 20 mai 1994. Le journal L'Équipe titre alors : "La mort d'un seigneur" [2].
i.e.
hepatitis C following a transfusion, liver cancer.
His financial and marital problems may have contributed to his suicide.
 
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Le breton said:
4th in GP France, good for you! In 84 you say, then you must have known David Mayer-Oakes.

Went to check on wiki

Il est atteint d'une hépatite C suite à une transfusion sanguine, hépatite conduisant ensuite à un cancer du foie. Se sachant condamné à brève échéance il se suicide le 20 mai 1994. Le journal L'Équipe titre alors : "La mort d'un seigneur" [2].
i.e.
hepatitis C following a transfusion, liver cancer.
His financial and marital problem may have contributed to his suicide.

Ah, yes..now I do recall a mention of Hep C...its a while ago now!:rolleyes:

Dont recall knowing a David Mayer Oaks , is he a uk rider?. In GP France I was a guest rider for the ACBB in Paris , my normal team at the time being Manchester Whs/ Truemans Steel.
 

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Le breton said:
You might be referring to the statistics kept by De Mondenard, a French medical Dr, definitely one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject of doping.

He keeps adding to his database. A few years ago he published a huge "dictionnary" on doping easily found on the net.

His studies show that while pre WWII pro cyclists (or Tdf racers, not sure which) outlived the general population by many years, the situation has reversed itself since WWII.

Too many confounds make this a non-starter. Just consider Eddy Merckx, arguably the greatest professional athlete of all time. Retirement has seen his weight go up to over 280lbs at times, becoming a smoker, and not exercising regularly for years at a time...
 
puzzled

mastersracer said:
Too many confounds make this a non-starter. Just consider Eddy Merckx, arguably the greatest professional athlete of all time. Retirement has seen his weight go up to over 280lbs at times, becoming a smoker, and not exercising regularly for years at a time...

I don't understand what your contribution adds to what I had written.

Eddy Merckx turned 60, so that in spite of his excesses his life span already equals or exceeds the average life expectancy of post 1947 Tour de France winners. Are you implying that such extravagant lifestyles : gaining weight, not exercising, smoking do not exist in the general population?

Here are some of De Mondenard observations :

Selon les statistiques du docteur Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, ancien médecin du Tour et spécialiste du dopage, l'espérance de vie des vainqueurs de la Grande Boucle a brutalement chuté depuis 1947. Entre 1903 et 1939, elle était, avec 74 ans, largement supérieure à celle des Français (60 ans) ; après guerre, l'espérance de vie des lauréats du Tour de France tombe autour de 60 ans, alors que celle des Français dépasse aujourd'hui 77 ans. Sur les dix anciens vainqueurs du Tour d'après guerre qui sont morts, huit le sont avant 60 ans. Le plus jeune défunt est l'Italien Marco Pantani, lauréat de l'édition 1998, mort à 34 ans d'une overdose de cocaïne après une carrière marquée par le dopage.

Briefly : 1903-1939 : life expectancy TdF winners 74 against 60 in general population

post 1947 : life expectancy TdF winners around 60, against 77 in general population.
At the time of writing (2008 or 2009) 8 of the 10 post 47 winners had died before the age of 60.

Clearly a study done on such a small sample of athletes cannot be called scientific, but that does not mean it does not have any value. Of course, as I had pointed out, several of these TdF winners had died of causes most likely not linked to doping.
Robic : car accident
Coppi . incompetent and arrogant doctors, although he was probably weakened by excesses.
Koblet : car accident
 
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Not Recreational

Le breton said:
Obviously you have a problem with maths.

If I had not done sport my resting heart rate would probably have been around 60bpm like my dad's.
Because I trained consistently it went down near 40bpm.

On a year-round average I spend 1hr a day at say 140bpm.

Which increases my daily average to 44 bpm.

Therefore, because I do sport, i save about 36% on heartbeats. Not the other way around.

Of course many of us have parents whose resting heart rates were more like 70-80 bpm and they would have a much higher relative benefit from doing sport.

When I posted I was thinking of a GT rider like Marino Lejaretta not a recreational cyclist like yourself.If you were to base your calculations on someone like him , you might see a different result.And don't forget to include post excercise elevated heart rate.
I am sure if you did a 5 hour road race this weekend, it would be a while before you saw 44bpm on your hrm.
No doubt your current training regime has substantial benifits for your health and longevity, and that is the whole basis of this discussion.
Moderate excercise is good for your health Grand Tour road racing is not.
For those not familiar with Lejaretta, he completed all 3 GT's in one year year on 4 different occasions
 
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forty four said:
yes true but endurance athletes heart rates are only elevated when riding otherwise there heart rates are much lower than that of average out of shape fat american. as an example at rest im in the 50's or 40's hr. i have been around sedentary types whos resting was close to 100 no health problems either just sadly out of shape. i would think total heart beats in a year might actually be less for endurance athletes than for people beating away at 80 to 120 all day.

Post excercise elevated heartrate has to be taken in to account.I think that moderate excercise provides the benefits you have outlined, while extreme endurance activity's like Grand Tours, tip the balance in the other direction.
From personal expierience I know that if I do a hard 4/5 hour road race, my heart rate wil not completely return to normal for 2 days.I am not an elite endurance athlete though, just a recreational cyclist who races occasionaly because I am having a mid life crisis.
 
simo1733 said:
When I posted I was thinking of a GT rider like Marino Lejaretta not a recreational cyclist like yourself.If you were to base your calculations on someone like him , you might see a different result.And don't forget to include post excercise elevated heart rate.
I am sure if you did a 5 hour road race this weekend, it would be a while before you saw 44bpm on your hrm.
No doubt your current training regime has substantial benifits for your health and longevity, and that is the whole basis of this discussion.
Moderate excercise is good for your health Grand Tour road racing is not.
For those not familiar with Lejaretta, he completed all 3 GT's in one year year on 4 different occasions

Lejaretta is one of a kind.

As for myself, i'll let you know as I have that sort of data somewhere

Cheers
 
forty four said:
yes true but endurance athletes heart rates are only elevated when riding otherwise there heart rates are much lower than that of average out of shape fat american. as an example at rest im in the 50's or 40's hr. i have been around sedentary types whos resting was close to 100 no health problems either just sadly out of shape. i would think total heart beats in a year might actually be less for endurance athletes than for people beating away at 80 to 120 all day.

Total beats would also be less for people who exercise moderately. For endurance athletes, though, there may be another factor. They have to eat more to satisfy their increased energy needs. A lot of research with animals suggests that a low calorie diet increases lifespan. Why? One suggested answer is that the more metabolic activity, the more damaging free radicals are produced. Endurance athletes would be expected to produce more free radicals, and this could work against any effect of an overall reduced heart beat.
 
Merckx index said:
Total beats would also be less for people who exercise moderately. For endurance athletes, though, there may be another factor. They have to eat more to satisfy their increased energy needs. A lot of research with animals suggests that a low calorie diet increases lifespan. Why? One suggested answer is that the more metabolic activity, the more damaging free radicals are produced. Endurance athletes would be expected to produce more free radicals, and this could work against any effect of an overall reduced heart beat.

A lot of research with animals suggests that a low calorie diet increases lifespan.
Yes, so? if they eat more they get fat and that's not good.
Not heard of similar studies on olympic rats that exercise a lot.
One suggested answer is that the more metabolic activity, the more damaging free radicals are produced. Endurance athletes would be expected to produce more free radicals

I wouldn't worry, give them researchers time to discover how athletes' bodies adapt to fight the increase in free radicals production.
 
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I think most doctors would agree that elite athletic sports are not "good for your health". There most likely far better than being a couch potato all your life but thats not the same as "good for you".

As with most everything in life "good for you" is most things in moderation, several hours a week cycling at moderate intensity is healthy...20 to 30 hours in all conditions and frequently at your limits is not.:rolleyes:
 
simo1733 said:
When I posted I was thinking of a GT rider like Marino Lejaretta not a recreational cyclist like yourself.If you were to base your calculations on someone like him , you might see a different result.And don't forget to include post excercise elevated heart rate.
I am sure if you did a 5 hour road race this weekend, it would be a while before you saw 44bpm on your hrm.
No doubt your current training regime has substantial benifits for your health and longevity, and that is the whole basis of this discussion.
Moderate excercise is good for your health Grand Tour road racing is not.
For those not familiar with Lejaretta, he completed all 3 GT's in one year year on 4 different occasions

I said i would come back with personal data. So here it is.

A number of years ago, I was 51 then, a cardiologist thought I had high blood pressure during exercise ( he stopped the stress test when I was feeling so good at 4.6 watts/kg and 160 bpm for the stupid reason that my blood pressure was 250/90 mm Hg:).

I was shocked and when I recovered I called him back to make a 24 hr test with a Holter.

So, the day of the test I worked in the morning (office, seating) and took the afternoon off so that I could bike with the Holter at various intensities/heart rates.

Since the Holter comes on for a blood pressure measurement every 20 min, it's easy to get a sample of blood pressure vs heart rate data.

I started cycling at 12:57 and got back at 19:25, in the meantime I had climbed various mountain passes for a total of 4000meters.

Then I ate, went shopping for food, put away the groceries and finally took a bath (a rare treat) before watching TV and going to sleep.

On that day my resting heart rate must have been 43 bpm (lowest ever measured 38-39).

During the 6.5 hours of cycling it was like 120 bpm average. Was around 50-60 while eating. Up around 70 while shopping. Just below 60 at bath time at 10pm, dipping below 50 around 1 a.m. So, the average was about 56 bpm for the 17.5 hours of not biking despite the heavy workload.

I let you draw your own conclusions.
As for myself, the good news was that the blood pressure measurement during the stress test was just what it felt like : crap.
( I redid the 24 hrs test one month later)
 

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Le breton said:
I don't understand what your contribution adds to what I had written.

Eddy Merckx turned 60, so that in spite of his excesses his life span already equals or exceeds the average life expectancy of post 1947 Tour de France winners. Are you implying that such extravagant lifestyles : gaining weight, not exercising, smoking do not exist in the general population?

the comparison is between TdF winners and the general population; its irrelevant that Merckx exceeds the average life expectancy of post 1947 Tour de France winners. My point more generally was related to the original issue of whether or not PED use reduces life expectancy - not only is there the confounding issue of the effect of prolonged high volume/intensity exercise, but for many a post-career sedentary lifestyle (and the interaction between these). A lot of TdF winners look substantially older than they are, as they've become fat - even Riis, who is still pretty young, looks fat. Roche looks obese in many pictures (same with Lemond), and Indurain sometimes as well.
 

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pedaling squares said:
Good point. Iggy Pop is still with us and his drug use was legendary. Maybe we should all hit the meds like Mr 60%.

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How about Riis his health now ? as his team is like the Titanic and AC is still on board !
 
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Animal said:
Not necessarily caused by the fact of being a GT rider though!

correlation vs causation!

Maybe some kind of underlying cause like the GT peloton of that time contained more than an average number of amphetamine users.
think about it. it does make sense. here are a couple of facts that show you why cycling can be harmful to your health.
low body fat levels: lower testosterone levels and higher rate of infectious diseases.
non weigh bearing exercise: cause you to lose calcium and other minerals via sweating making you a candidate for osteoporosis.
testicular cancer, skin cancer, car-bike collition.
let's face it we (at least I) chose this sport is because i like it not because it is going to make me live longer. the reason why people like riis armstron might live more than the average person, lies in that they are above average. back in the 90's i read an article about bodybuilders. this article claimed that only 1 in a million poses the genes to be competitive steroids or not.
 
Trek1000 said:
Bjarne Riis was a major doper for years. Absued his body to extreme lenghts.

However his health seem excellent. Head of a team is a very busy and stressful job yet his health seems perfect.

Therefore can we say such extreme doping is actually not bad for your health??

Virenque is another who seems in great condition.

Are you for real?!

Seriously?

The guy is like, what 45(?) and you think because he seems (you don't know a thing actually) to be in good shape, doping is therefore risk free?