Football supporters get far too stressed! Particularly when their favourite
team is playing a close match… At times like this their risk of suffering a
stroke can more than double, according to the authors of a study carried out during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Being a football supporter can put your health at risk!
Researchers in Munich in Bavaria studied the admission records of the
various emergency services during the period of the championship – from 9 June to 9 July 2006. They compared their results with those of a number of control periods: just before and just after the World Cup, and during the two periods from 1 May to 31 July 2003 and 1 May to 31 July 2005.
The results show that the average incidence of cardiovascular events
recorded on days when the German national team was playing went up by 2.66 compared with the control periods! The statistic goes as high as a 3.26 increase for men, while the increase in risk for female supporters was 1.82.
The researchers observed that there were peak periods during particularly close matches, such as that against Poland where the winning goal was scored in the very last minute. And in the quarter final when the German national team beat Argentina in a penalty shoot out. On the other hand, the increase in incidence was less marked when Germany won an easy victory over Ecuador (3–0).
According to the authors, these results are particularly worrying, especially for men already suffering from some kind of cardiovascular condition. But can this increased risk be explained by stress alone? Unfortunately, the study fails to address this. It would have been interesting to have tied this data in with other factors, such as alcohol and tobacco consumption on match days …