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I have been running 20 miles a week (three hour long runs, monday, thursday, and saturday) for a long long time. Last year in my annual physical I had a venous blood carbon dioxide level of 29. This year it is 33 (upper limit of normal is 31).

Is my blood carbon dioxide level high because my system has 'learned' to tolerate high levels of carbon dioxide? Am I going to drop dead in a week or two? Does anyone know?

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As far as I am aware, you don't get hypercapnia simply from being an endurance athlete, there is usually some other disease mechanism going on, or there is some sort of artificial/environmental cause. I would be interested in why you are having CO2 levels drawn/measured in the first place? Its a specific blood test, although possibly included in metabolic panels. –  JohnP Sep 6 '13 at 22:40
    
I have to take annual physicals. @JohnP –  user10739 Sep 7 '13 at 21:24
    
That says nothing. I take annual physicals as well, and I've never had a CO2 level drawn other than during some college classes. Is this just a normal test your doctor orders, or is there reason that you have an uncommon test performed yearly? –  JohnP Sep 8 '13 at 14:25
    
Dear John- CO2 levels are just part of the chemistry panel at my hospital. They are included along with things like electrolytes, BUN, liver enzymes, and so forth. @JohnP –  user10739 Sep 9 '13 at 20:03
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