A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Cross-country skiing and running's association with cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality : A review of the evidence (2020)

Laukkanen, J. A., Kunutsor, S. K., Ozemek, C., Mäkikallio, T., Lee, D.-C., Wisloff, U., & Lavie, C. J. (2020). Cross-country skiing and running's association with cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality : A review of the evidence. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 62(6), 505-514. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2019.09.001

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Laukkanen, Jari A.; Kunutsor, Setor K.; Ozemek, Cemal; Mäkikallio, Timo; Lee, Duck-chul; Wisloff, Ulrik; Lavie, Carl J.

Journal or series: Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases

ISSN: 0033-0620

eISSN: 1873-1740

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 62

Issue number: 6

Pages range: 505-514

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2019.09.001

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67915


A large body of evidence demonstrates positive, graded effects of PA on cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality with increasing intensity compared with lower PA intensity. Running is often designated as a high-intensity PA with substantial evidence supporting its health benefits. Cross-country skiing is among the most demanding aerobic endurance exercises and requires engaging the upper- and lower-body. Cross-country skiing is often regarded as high-intensity PA, which has been associated with significant health benefits. However, a robust body of evidence identifying the dose-response relation between cross-country skiing volume and health outcomes is sparse. Therefore, this review aims to summarize the available evidence linking cross-country skiing with CVD morbidity and all-cause mortality; postulated pathways that may elucidate the relation between these associations; outline areas of ongoing uncertainty; and the implications for primary and secondary CVD prevention. To put the findings into perspective, we also summarized the evidence linking running with CVD morbidity and all-cause mortality. Though a head-to-head comparison is not available, the evidence indicates that performing PA as cross-country skiing associates with lower mortality risk when compared with that observed in those undertaking their PA as running. Potential adverse effects of extreme high weekly doses of cross-country skiing over decades may be cardiac arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation. Evidence suggests that cross-country skiing may reduce the risk of CVD events and all-cause mortality via anti-inflammatory pathways, improvements in endothelial function and reduced levels of CVD risk factors, such as lipids, glucose, and blood pressure; and enhancement of cardiorespiratory fitness.

Keywords: physical activeness; physical training; skiing; running; cardiovascular diseases

Free keywords: physical activity; high-intensity physical activity; exercise; skiing; running; cardiovascular disease

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:13