Can The Super Bowl Really Cause Heart Attacks?

heart attack

By Roland Tangiao via flickr.com/ Super Bowl can kill you

It’s Super Bowl week with the game on Sunday between the Green Bay Packers of the NFC and the Pittsburgh Steelers of the AFC, battling it out for the Vince Lombardi trophy and the Status of World Champions. The Super Bowl has always been a heartbreaker for the losing team and its fans, but could the big game really cause a heart attack?
A new study conducted by the journal of Clinical Cardiology, researchers suggests that the losing fans stress levels can trigger heart attacks for those already suffering from heart disease and/or other heart related problems. That stress can cause a lift in blood pressure and abnormal heart beats, leading to major strain on the heart. “For people with heart disease — or for those who are at risk due to factors such as obesity, smoking, and diabetes — such strain can prove harmful, if not fatal.”
The study which was published today, analyzed death records in L.A. after the 1980 and 1984 Super Bowls. “In 1980, when the Pittsburgh Steelers staged a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the underdog L.A. Rams, heart-related deaths shot up 15% among men and 27% among women in the subsequent two weeks, compared with the same period in 1981 through 1983.” In 1984 the L.A. Raiders won the Super Bowl, so the cardiac death rate actually dropped after the game.
“Fans develop an emotional connection to their team…and when their team loses, that’s an emotional stress,” says the lead author of the study, Robert A. Kloner, M.D., a professor of cardiology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, in Los Angeles. “There’s a brain-heart connection, and it is important for people to be aware of that.”

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