World Cup watching doubles risk of heart attack

Sports fans should not take the competition too seriously.

world cup 88 (photo credit: file)
world cup 88
(photo credit: file)
Male and even female fans of World Cup soccer should not take the tense competition in South Africa too seriously, as a study based on the previous tournament found that the heart attack rate more than doubles during the games.
Dr. Gal Dubnov, chief of sports medicine at Sheba Medical Center, said Wednesday anxiety and emotional stress while watching as well as being stationary and snacking for a month can harm health.
The survey, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine two years ago, was based on the number of heart attacks in Germany while watching the World Cup of 2006.
On those days when the German team competed against other national teams, the researchers found, the number of heart attacks jumped by 3.3 times among men and 1.8 times among women.
Most of the ischemic events took place within two hours after the game started.
About half of those who had a history of heart problems and were watching the games had a history of heart disease.
The types of coronary events they counted included acute coronary syndromes, symptomatic arrhythmias, cardiac arrests or therapeutic discharge of implantable defibrillators. Acute cardiovascular events were found in 4,279 patients.
The authors of the article said people, especially men with a history of heart problems, should take preventive measures such as relaxing and exercising, while some physicians advised their heart patients not to watch