Heart Problems Could Sideline Linemen

Heart Problems Could Sideline Linemen


I’m Shelby Cullinan with today’s health news.
Being an athlete doesn’t always protect you from heart problems. A new study found that
college football linemen may have a raised risk of heart problems — raised blood pressure
and changes in heart structure, specifically — compared to other players. The study team
studied 87 college freshman football players — 30 linemen and 57 non-linemen — for
changes in heart health after one football season. At the beginning of that season, none
of the players had high blood pressure. Fast forward to the end of the season: Nine of
the linemen had high blood pressure, as well as four of the non-linemen. The linemen were
also more likely to have had thickening of the heart muscle wall. Both heart wall thickening
and high blood pressure are tied to heart health risks. The lead study author said quote,
“There are physiologic differences between football linemen and non-linemen. “Non-linemen
tend to be quarterbacks and running backs. Linemen tend to be heavier, making them at
higher risk for increased high blood pressure and thickness of heart muscle, and potentially
decreased heart function over time.”

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