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Playing Pro Football May Shorten Players’ Lives, Study Finds

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Playing skilled football, especially in case you are a lineman, may shorten your life, a brand new study suggests.

The University of Minnesota researchers thought that perhaps skilled football players are unlike “American men usually” in ways in which determine their future health.

“Once we began digging into the literature on later life health outcomes for skilled American football players, we were initially surprised to search out a comparatively large variety of studies that found football players lived longer than American men usually,” said study co-author Gina Rumore. She is program development director of the university’s Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation.

“We imagine a greater strategy for understanding the association between playing football and mortality is to match football players to men who’re like them in every respect — except they never played skilled football,” Rumore added in a university news release.

So, the researchers compared men drafted to play skilled football within the Fifties, a few of whom played and a few of whom never played in any skilled league.

The investigators then compared skilled football players who began their careers within the late Eighties through the mid-Nineteen Nineties to a nationally representative group of men who were employed, not disabled, not poor and who had accomplished a minimum of three years of school.

The primary evaluation showed that linemen die sooner than otherwise similar men.

Within the second evaluation, the researchers saw that 3.1% of football players died inside 25 years, while only 2.3% of their peers did.

“Skilled football players may live longer than ‘American men usually,’ but this doesn’t mean that playing skilled football extends players’ lives,” said lead study creator Rob Warren, a professor within the College of Liberal Arts.

“The truth is, after we compare players to otherwise comparable men, linemen’s lives are shorter and other players’ lives are concerning the same length,” Warren said.

The study, published Oct. 30 within the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was funded by the Minnesota Population Center and the University of Minnesota Life Course Center, each of which receive core funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

More information

The Alzheimer’s Association has more on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

SOURCE: University of Minnesota, news release, Oct. 30, 2023

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