Former professional American football players, particularly linemen, are more likely to experience diseases that are often associated with advanced age when a child . These athletes lifespans were shortened by nearly a decade, according to study .
Washington, United States, December 9 : Former professional American football players, particularly linemen, are more likely to experience diseases that are often associated with advanced age when a child, according to a new report.These former elite athletes also tend to experience age-related diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, earlier than other athletes.These athletes' lifespans were shortened by nearly a decade, according to study senior investigator Rachel Grashow, who conducted the ongoing Football Players Health Study at Harvard University.The findings, however, should inspire clinicians who care for them to pay close attention to their relatively young former athletes, according to the study's senior investigator.In addition, sports medicine physicians who treat athletes have reported that these athletes have an earlier onset of age-related chronic diseases such as dementia, arthritis, hypertension, and diabetes.Grashow and colleagues polled 2,864 black and white former professional football players between the ages of 25 and 59 to see if a health-care provider had ever told them they had dementia, arthritis, hypertension, or diabetes.In addition, the researchers used survey data to gauge participants' health spans, or how long they lived without experiencing any of the four conditions.The researchers compared these findings to data from men aged 25 to 59 in the general population gathered from two large, nationwide surveys: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the National Health Interview Survey, which collectively hold data on tens of thousands of individuals. However, the prevalence of these conditions and the proportion of people who had them differed significantly among the two groups.In each decade of life, the former athletes were more likely to report being ill with dementiaAlzheimers disease and arthritis.For hypertension and diabetes, only the youngest players, those aged 25 to 29, reported much higher numbers of symptoms than the general population.Importantly, the health span for each former NFL player age group closely resembled American men a decade older. Linemen had significantly shorter health spans across all stages of life, according to this study.Non-linemen have more contact during games than non-linemen.This subgroup developed age-related illnesses sooner than their non-linemen peers.We wanted to know: Is football prematurely weathering them and putting them on a different age course, increasing the prevalence of a number of ailments related to old age, Grashow said.We need to think beyond the quantity of life, but also the quality of life as well. The length of one's life is very important, but so is the quality of one's life, said Baggish, who is currently professor of medicine at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.This review was conducted to assess the former and provides a vital perspective on how early-life participation in the great sport of football can accelerate the development of several common forms of chronic disease.Grashow acknowledged that future studies would focus on the genetic causes of premature ageing among former professional football players, as well as strategies to help these players live healthier lives as they age.