If you’re a male, being devoted to your favorite sports team(s) increases your chance of having a stroke or heart attack, according to a study of Dutch men released in the British Medical Journal.
On a game day in 1996, when the Dutch soccer team lost the European championship in overtime, deaths among local men from heart attack or stroke rose 50 percent. There was no increase, however, among women.
The exact trigger for this increase is undetermined. Possibilities include the change in stress levels caused by over-emotional cheering for a winning or losing team, the excess consumption of fatty foods or alcohol, an increase in chain smoking at sports events, or a combination of all these things.
With Super Bowl XXXV just around the corner (Jan. 28), what’s a man to do? Learn how to recognize a heart attack or stroke (or possibly prevent having one) from the American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org or 800-AHA-USA1).MT editorial assistant Nicole Jones contributed to The Hot & the Bothered, which is edited by MT arts editor George Tysh