As is being widely covered today (and something I need to keep in mind as my team plays the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday), Super Bowl-related stress may be bad for heart health. A new study in Clinical Cardiology found an increase in cardiac events and deaths among fans of the losing team in the 1980 Super Bowl.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Erin Allday explains the findings: Researchers say it's "almost impossible to know exactly what caused those deaths," but "some could probably be attributed to the excitement of the game." And she turns to a Stanford cardiologist to weigh in on the significance of the study:
Probably only people who already have heart disease need to worry, and even then, the risk is small. But it's worth noting, doctors say, and it might be worth taking some precautions.
"No, you shouldn't be checking your pulse every five minutes during the Super Bowl," said Dr. Dipanjan Banerjee, a Stanford cardiologist. "You can enjoy it. Jumping up and down and high-fiving is probably good, because at least you're getting some physical activity. It's the bad behaviors - the eating nachos and pizza and drinking too much - that need to be avoided."
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