Watching exciting soccer games can be dangerous to your health, according to German researchers. Acute cardiovascular events involving over 4000 people were analysed during the World Cup soccer tournament of 2006 and compared to a control period. The incidence of cardiac emergencies, including myocardial infarction, unstable angina, and cardiac arrhythmia, increased significantly (by a factor of 2.66) on days when the German team were playing in matches. The proportion of cardiac emergency patients with known coronary heart disease was also greater on these days compared with the control period. Although the study did not allow the identification of the exact triggers provoking the additional observed cardiovascular events, the authors hypothesise that the additional emergencies were triggered by emotional stress related to watching soccer matches involving the national team.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.