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Football players risk hypertension

We all know that exercise and being fit will help lower blood pressure. Right? Well, not if you are a huge football player. Being large, even if you are fit, does not mean you are 100% healthy.

I don’t know a lot about American NFL. In Australia we have an NRL, which I don’t know much about either. :) I do know that the players are huge …. tall, big and wide!

The NFL high blood pressure study

Researchers studied 504 football players from 12 NFL teams over a 4 month period. The doctors assessed: height, weight, neck, waist and hip circumferences, body composition, blood glucose, pulse, blood pressure and cholesterol. They then compared the health of the football players to 1,959 men of the general population aged 23 to 35 years.

The results

It was no surprise that the football players were heavier and taller than the other men, however other results were surprising.

The Good news: The NFL players had healthy cholesterol levels, the same as the average healthy young men. The players had a lower incidence of impaired fasting glucose and pre diabetes. They were also less likely to smoke.

The Bad news: The NFL players had considerably higher blood pressure levels than the average men. 13.8% of players had high blood pressure and 64.5% had prehypertension, compared to 5.5% and 24.2% of the other men.

The researchers conclusions

The researchers did not know why their blood pressure of the players was so much higher. They suggest that it may be connected to weight training increasing blood pressure, high salt intake, or anti-inflammatory pain medications.

But what they do know is that whether you are a NFL or NRL player or an average person, the bigger you are the more at risk for hypertension you are. Size does matter! The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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