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Men's Health

Watching "The Big Game" May Trigger Heart Attacks in Men


The Super Bowl may be over, but the next big game is always right around the corner, and fanatics, specifically men, should beware. In a recent issue of the British Medical Journal, researchers from the Netherlands claimed that men are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke on the day of an important sporting event.

Researchers compared the number of deaths on June 22, 1996 (the day the Dutch football team was eliminated from the European football championship) with the number of deaths five days before and after the match and in the same period in 1995 and 1997. Results concluded that in men the number of deaths from heart attack or stroke significantly increased on the day of the match.

A total of about 14 additional deaths occurred than normal — an increase of about 50 percent. There was no corresponding increase in deaths among women.

The authors of the study suggest that possible triggers of the cardiovascular deaths include: increased mental and emotional stress; high alcohol intake; overeating; and excessive smoking. An important sporting event, such as a critical football match, may combine several of these factors at one point in time and provoke a sufficient level of stress to acute heart attack or stroke, they conclude.


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