NEW HAVEN: Running in marathons can harm your kidneys, scientists have warned, after a new study found that the majority of runners studied showed signs of acute kidney injury after a race.
Led by researchers from Yale, the study published on Tuesday (Mar 28) by the American Journal of Kidney Disease studied a group of participants in the 2015 Hartford Marathon and found that 82 per cent of the runners studied showed Stage 1 Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) after the race.
The team collected blood and urine samples before and after the race and analysed a variety of markers of kidney injury, Yale News reported.
Lead researcher, Dr Chirag Parikh told Yale News that marathon runners' kidneys responded in a similar way to those of hospitalised patients who had undergone surgery.
“The kidney responds to the physical stress of marathon running as if it’s injured, in a way that’s similar to what happens in hospitalised patients when the kidney is affected by medical and surgical complications,” said Dr Parikh.
He added that though measured kidney injury resolves within two days after the marathon, the findings still raised questions about the effects of repeated strenuous activity over time, especially in warm climates.
Researchers said that marathon-related kidney injury could be caused by a sustained rise in core body temperature, dehydration, or decreased blood flow to the kidneys, according to Yale News.
“We need to investigate this further,” Yale News reported Parikh as saying. “Research has shown there are also changes in heart function associated with marathon running. Our study adds to the story - even the kidney responds to marathon-related stress.”