The Beautiful Game can kill you: soccer/football managers and viewers at high risk for heart disease

Almost half of England's football managers have "significant" heart problems and their life-consuming, high-pressure jobs are a "recipe for potential disaster" according to cardiovascular experts. This is hardly surprising considering the range of emotions demonstrated by Fabio Capello (age 64), the current manager of the England national football team, in the videos below:

A stressful soccer match affects everybody involved including the spectators.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, held in Germany from June 9 to July 9, 2006, provided an opportunity to examine the relation between emotional stress and the incidence of cardiovascular events. Cardiovascular events occurring in 4,000 patients in the greater Munich area were prospectively assessed by emergency physicians during the World Cup.

On days of matches involving the German team, the incidence of cardiac emergencies was 2.66 times that during the control period. For men, the incidence was 3.26 times that during the control period, and for women, it was 1.82 times that during the control period.

On those days, the highest average incidence of events was observed during the first 2 hours after the beginning of each match.

Viewing a stressful soccer match more than doubles the risk of an acute cardiovascular event. In view of this excess risk, particularly in men with known coronary heart disease, preventive measures are urgently needed.

Video: Angry Capello [ Algeria Vs England ].


Nearly half of football managers suffer serious heart problems. Independent, 2005.
Cardiovascular events during World Cup soccer. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jan 31;358(5):475-83.
Super Bowl may trigger heart attacks - CNN, 2011.
Top Soccer Players Are Seen to Have Superior Brain Function - NYTimes, 2012 -- Good to know, NYT.

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