Monday, February 05, 2007

Retired NFL Linemen at High Risk for Heart Disease

As I’m sure many of you know the Colts defeated the Bears last night in the Super Bowl XLI. Despite the weather, I thought it was a great game and very action-packed. I was never really a big football fan until I went to college, where football was an integral part of student life.

As I was searching for news on the Super Bowl the other day, I came upon this article from HealthDay. According to a study conducted by Dr. Arthur Roberts, Ex-NFL Linemen are at high risk for a serious and life-threatening condition called metabolic syndrome. Symptoms of metabolic syndrome include enlarged heart, sleep apnea, abdominal obesity and high blood pressure.

I’ve never really thought about it before but linemen in the NFL are huge, typically weighing at least 300 pounds. Such a high body weight can put them at risk for serious health conditions. Although these men are incredibly muscular while playing in the NFL, once they reduce their activity level, the muscle often turns to fat.

Dr. Roberts screened 550 retired NFL linemen and found that 52.2 percent had metabolic syndrome, meaning they have three or more of the following health conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol.

Metabolic syndrome is not a health condition to be taken lightly. These retired players need to take some serious steps to improving their health. Eating properly and exercising are two effective steps that can not only reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome, but also for numerous other diseases too.

Hmm, maybe I should send these guys a tub of soft margarine?

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