Navigation Links
NFL Players Not at Increased Heart Risk
Date:5/26/2009

Study finds they showed no more signs of cardiovascular trouble than general male population

TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Those refrigerator-sized National Football League players you see on television every Sunday aren't at any higher risk of cardiovascular problems than the guy next door, a new study finds.

"Overall, the risk is similar to that of American males of similar age and race distribution," said Dr. Andrew M. Tucker, medical director of sports medicine at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, co-chair of the NFL subcommittee on cardiovascular health and lead author of a report in the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

And that's true even though the 504 players from 12 NFL teams examined in the study had an average body mass index (BMI) of 31, while a BMI of 30 is the accepted marker for obesity in the general population. That extra weight consists mostly of muscle rather than fat, Tucker explained.

"The mean average body fat was 14 percent," he said. "For wide receivers it was 8 percent, for offensive linemen 25 percent, the upper limit of normal."

The study was done because "we have been wondering about whether the extremely large size we've been seeing in NFL players is having a detrimental effect on cardiovascular risk," he said. And so Tucker and other members of the subcommittee selected veteran NFL players from 12 teams to be compared for cardiovascular risk factors with 1,959 young adults in an ongoing coronary risk study.

There were differences, some favorable -- the NFL players looked better on blood glucose readings, a measure of diabetes -- and some unfavorable -- most notably, a higher incidence of high blood pressure and borderline elevated blood pressure in the NFL group. Their incidence of high blood pressure was 13.8 percent, compared to 5.5 percent of the men in the general population. The incidence of what doctors call prehypertension was 64.5 percent, versus 24.2 percent in the general population sample.

The reason for the difference is unclear, Tucker said. "We think that something more than bigness contributes to higher blood pressure in these athletes," he said. "We will do a league-wide study of blood pressure this year to try to figure out why there is a difference."

It's possible that their higher blood pressure is caused by the players' steady use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or by a high intake of sodium in the large amounts of food they eat to keep up their weight, Tucker said.

Both of those explanations could apply, said Dr. Neil Coplan, director of the section of clinical cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "The use of nonsteroidal medications is much higher in the football population than the non-football population, and nonsteroidals are significantly associated with high blood pressure," Coplan said.

But the blood pressure finding was not firm because it was based on a single reading, "and to define hypertension you need to have a number of measurements at different times," he said.

And the entire study was made at a single point in time, so that a long follow-up would be needed to determine the true long-term cardiovascular risk for the players, Coplan said.

On the plus side of the risk factor equation, only one of the NFL players said they smoked, compared to 30.5 percent of men in the general population sample.

As for blood fats such as cholesterol, no difference was seen between the two groups.

The high levels of physical activity needed to keep a job in the NFL probably help keep the cardiovascular risk low, the report said. Physical activity is a standard recommendation for reducing risk.

A study of 201 retired NFL players last year found that they were not at increased risk of cardiovascular disease after their careers ended. The study found that the former players were more likely to remain physically active than other men of their age group, had a lower incidence of diabetes, and had the same incidence of atherosclerosis, the build-up of fatty plaques that narrow coronary arteries.

But life is not all roses for former pro football players. A 2007 study of 3,377 retired members of the NFL Players Association found that nearly 15 percent of them reported moderate to severe depression. While that is about the incidence in the general population, half of those respondents said they suffered from chronic pain.

That study was timely because it came shortly after the suicide of Andre Waters, a former star safety in the NFL who was suffering from brain damage caused by multiple concussions during a 12-year career.

The NFL is aware of the concussion issue, said Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the league. "We have an ongoing study on the long-term effects of concussion," Aiello said. "Meanwhile, we emphasize prevention and proper treatment of concussions among our current players."

More information

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are listed by the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Andrew M. Tucker, M.D., medical director, sports medicine, Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore; Neil Coplan, M.D., director, section of clinical cardiology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Greg Aiello, spokesman, National Football League; May 27, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. For Young Ballplayers, Support and Caution Are Key
2. Number of Matches Played Determines Teen Tennis Players' Risk for Medical Withdrawal
3. Professional Football Players Mothers Association Teams Up with Go Red For Women(R) to Beat the No. 1 Killer of Women
4. New Study Shows Fish Oil Improves Cholesterol Levels in Professional Football Players
5. Investors who gamble in the stock market have same characteristics as lottery players
6. Wanted - Past Players of Dr. Deming - Red Bead Experiment
7. 1 in 10 Ex-NFL Players Used Steroids, Poll Reports
8. 100 NFL Legends Coming Together in Tampa During Super Bowl Week to Raise Awareness and Funds for Retired Players in Crisis
9. Game, Not Gore, Keeps Video Players Playing
10. Study Shows Fish Oils Dramatically Improve Cholesterol Levels in Professional Football Players
11. NFL Active Players and Mike Ditka to Hold Press Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
NFL Players Not at Increased Heart Risk
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal ... personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems ... offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the ... Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We ... new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer ... unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid ... healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who ... challenges of the current process. Many of them do not ... the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those ... offer it at such a high cost that the majority ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered ... Latin America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: