Super Bowl losses may contribute to cardiac death

Apr 07, 2011

When a favorite team loses, it may take a toll on a fan's heart, according to a recent study.

Most people enjoy rooting for their home team during the Super Bowl, but if their team loses, they may have an increased risk of cardiac death as a result, according to a recent study in the journal Clinical Cardiology.

Some people get emotionally involved in watching their team play, and when their team loses, they could experience a significant degree of stress. To test whether or not this stress has contributed to cardiac death, researchers looked at regression models from two Los Angeles hospitals during the home team's 1980 Super Bowl loss and 1984 Super Bowl win.

After analyzing cardiac-related deaths in both men and women in the local hospitals, they found an increase in cardiac deaths for both genders directly following the Super Bowl. The correlation was stronger for older people than younger. During the '84 win, however, there were higher survival rates particularly for older patients and women with cardiac symptoms.

The numbers showed that men experienced a 15 percent increase and women experienced a 27 percent increase in all circulatory deaths associated with the losing game. For older patients of both genders there was a 22 percent risk increase.

The finding that even stress from a sports game can result in unexpected death supports experts suggestion that people should always be prepared for death. Having a good life insurance policy and will are part of essential end-of-life preparations.  

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