The Super Bowl: A Life or Death Game?


The losing team of the Super Bowl won’t be put to death, but scientists warn that some of the losing team’s fans may have a death sentence.

A group of scientists led by Dr. Robert Kloner of Good Samaritan Hospital and the University of Southern California, studied death certificates from 1980-1988, looking specifically at the dates around the Super Bowl. Turns out that fans of the losing team have a better chance of dying from heart related problems.

For instance, scientists observed that after the 1980 Super Bowl between the L.A. Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers, which the Steelers won, there were 15% more heart related deaths among men in L.A. and 27% more among women, compared to years when the Rams weren’t playing in the Super Bowl.

And apparently, winning has the opposite effect. The study found that heart related problems decrease after a city’s team wins the Super Bowl.

Kloner said:

“Emotional stress stimulates the fight or flight response. The sympathetic nervous system is jazzed up, and adrenalin is released. What does that do to the circulatory system? It increases heart rate, blood pressure and forces faster contraction of the heart, which leads to an increase in demand for oxygen. When that demand isn’t met, heart arteries can spasm, leading to ruptures of plaques that cut off blood flow to the heart muscle and cause a heart attack.”

[Source: Time Magazine]

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