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