Research Paper Volume 8, Issue 8 pp 1822—1829

Early and extraordinary peaks in physical performance come with a longevity cost


Figure 1. Hazard ratio (HR) for mortality of all Olympic athletes under study and several additional analyses. (A) Hazard ratio per standard deviation younger age at personal record and (B) per standard deviation higher of rank of personal record. Hazard ratios were derived from a multivariate left truncated Cox’ regression model, adjusted for nationality, sex, year of birth and respectively rank of personal record or age at personal record. Main analysis is with all 1055 Olympic athletes. ‘Age at death >50’ indicates that all athletes who died before age 50 were excluded. For the ‘Age of personal record of the highest ranking discipline’ analysis, we used an athlete’s relative best discipline to calculate age and rank of peak performance. In the analyses ‘Standardized per cardiovascular category and IAAF category’, we grouped and standardized age and rank of personal record per cardiovascular intensity or per IAAF category (see methods). In the ‘Year of personal record <1935’ analysis, all personal records set after the year 1935 were excluded.