How Soccer Can Be Bad for Your Health

When people complain that “everything is bad for your health,” they just might be right.  After yesterday’s soccer match, the NEJM posted a link to a 2008 article (N Engl J Med 2008; 358:475-483).  Here’s part of the abstract:

Methods: Cardiovascular events occurring in patients in the greater Munich area were prospectively assessed by emergency physicians during the World Cup. We compared those events with events that occurred during the control period: May 1 to June 8 and July 10 to July 31, 2006, and May 1 to July 31 in 2003 and 2005.

Results: Acute cardiovascular events were assessed in 4279 patients. On days of matches involving the German team, the incidence of cardiac emergencies was 2.66 times that during the control period…On those days, the highest average incidence of events was observed during the first 2 hours after the beginning of each match.

Conclusions: Viewing a stressful soccer match more than doubles the risk of an acute cardiovascular event.

Take-home point: Some people are not lying when they say they live and die with their favorite team.

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