Pats? Packers? Bears? ‘Boys? Which Team Is Worst For Your Health?

The ER gets busier after big games

| “Is my sports team killing me?”

| The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat can have a huge effect on your heart

| CNN – Can all the excitement of professional sports land you in the hospital?

Just ask Steven Clary.

Last year, his Atlanta Falcons finally made it back to the Super Bowl after falling short for 17 years.

The Falcons were up 28-3 at halftime. Clary and his friends were feeling good until the New England Patriots began an epic comeback.

Clary’s bad mood turned into a medical issue. His blood pressure began to rise, and by the time his team lost the game, he was in the hospital with chest pain.

Clary and his wife, Carla, walked into an empty emergency room, but within 15 minutes, it was full. The nurse practitioner on duty told them it was not uncommon for the ER to get busy after big games.

High blood pressure and injuries, such as broken bones, bruises or bloody falls, usually fill the waiting room during a busy season.

This scene is familiar to Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, an ER doctor, author of the upcoming book “Mom Hacks” and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine.

She used to be a doctor at Fenway Park during Boston Red Sox games. “I had a behind-the-scenes view of fans at the game,” she said, recalling patients with heart attack symptoms, chest pains, high blood pressure and injuries.

The worst team for your health? YOUR OWN  

Is rooting for your team bad for your health? A 2017 study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology suggests that the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat can have a substantial effect on the cardiovascular system.

Researchers found that heart rates peaked most often during any scoring opportunity — for or against your team — and during overtime.

Of course, the thrill of a game is part of the thrill of being a fan, but Gillespie cautions “to make sure the game does not distract you from your health.” Read more. 

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