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Careful! The Super Bowl Could Give You A Heart Attack!

Careful! The Super Bowl Could Give You A Heart Attack!

Today is the big game, and as a die-hard Vikings fan, I find myself unable to decide whether I can stand to root for the Packers.  But there is one bright side to not having my favorite team in the big game…at least I don’t have to worry about a heart attack.

Via New Scientist:

When avid sports fans sit down to watch a game on TV, they are not really on the couch: they are stepping up to the plate, sprinting down the field, gliding over the ice – they are right there, shoulder pad to shoulder pad with their favourite players.

For some die-hard fans, watching a game is apparently such an immersive experience that they, well, die of the excitement. Exhilarating matches can really get your heart going; unfortunately, they can also permanently silence its beating.

Robert Kloner, a cardiologist at the University of Southern California, analysed cardiac deaths in Los Angeles county during two Super Bowls: an intense 1980 match in which the much-loved Los Angeles Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and a more predictable 1984 game in which the Los Angeles Raiders gained an early lead and defeated the Washington Redskins in Tampa, Florida.

Kloner and his colleagues found that deaths due to heart failure in Los Angeles rose during the 1980 Super Bowl for both men and women – and especially for people over 65. Conversely, cardiac deaths decreased during the 1984 Super Bowl. The 1980 loss, Kloner reasons, literally broke the hearts of some fans in LA, especially if they had underlying heart conditions. But 1984′s unsurprising victory hardly tugged anyone’s heartstrings.

“There are many well-known chronic risk factors for cardiac deaths – smoking, obesity, diabetes,” Kloner explains, “but there is also evidence for acute risk factors that trigger a cardiac event.”

And here I thought it was just the pizza that was going to kill me.

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51 comments

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4:45PM PST on Feb 24, 2011

THANKS

11:47AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

thanx :0

2:32AM PST on Feb 15, 2011

thanks for the info

3:42AM PST on Feb 9, 2011

TY

9:40PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

I hate football for all kinds of reasons---I have to hear about it at work; the players are ugly; it's ungraceful; the outfits are fugly; it's homoerotic, what with all the ugly guys falling on each other and patting each other, so it's ok with me if people die of heart attacks while they're watching the Super Bowl.

However, I really like to watch soccer. The guys are so cute, move so gracefully and they've got great legs. I have no idea what they're doing but I sure like watching them while they're doing it!

9:09PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

The study said it only analyzed cardiac DEATHS, not cardiac calls. There could be the same number of cardiac calls as usual, but because EMT responders are being called to drunken accidents, it may take them longer to get to the cardiac cases, leading to the increased deaths. Show me some numbers of calls.

9:05PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

I agree with Marina...I would've thought that heart attacks during Super Bowl are caused by overeating too...not to mention overeating Super Bowls of unhealthy stuff...LOL!

12:23PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Not me !!! I didn't watch it. (I went out for freshman football in high school, got my Classical Piano Hands hurt, and turned in my suit.) Never Again. I've been a Church Organist for Fifty Years.
Don't need football.

7:24AM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Linda C. you have no idea of what you are discussing. Rugby injuries are mainly broken collar bones, and damaged wrists. American football injuries are frequently spinal and permanent, to which the helmet contribute.
No, rugby players wear no padding, and the game is usually fast and furious, unlike American football where the sissies wear padding, and keep falling down. By the way there are lots of small men playing rugby, unlike American football which essentially requires gorillas!

5:44AM PST on Feb 8, 2011

I'm glad the Packers won because I didn't want to see Ben Rapist Roethlisberger gloating. However I didn't watch any of the game; I had to work. Isn't it unbelievable that I can get 20 points for saying this?

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