Having hailed from Wisconsin, I'm a pretty big football fan. (I don't exactly bleed green-and-gold, but let's just say it runs in the Cheese State-family to support the Packers.) I've also gotten pretty worked up over the outcome of particular games over the years - which is why I took special notice of football-related research that was presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting this past weekend. Tami Dennis over at Booster Shots first reported on the study, which found that death rates in Los Angeles County were significantly higher than normal when the then-Los Angeles Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1980 Super Bowl. "The researchers," Tami writes, "surmise that emotional stress may play a role."
In a HealthDay News article on the study lead researcher Robert Kloner suggested that over-emotional fans talk to their doctors, especially if they have cardiac risk factors to begin with. ("There may be pharmacologic agents, such as beta blockers, aspirin or anti-anxiety drugs, that could help. Or relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing.") I don't think I fall in the risk-factor category, but I might still consider trying some deep-breathing exercises the next time my quarterback throws his 4th pick of the game!