Sophia Antipolis – 24 April 2020: Lost football games may trigger heart attacks in male fans, according to research presented today on EAPC Essentials 4 You, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
“Our study shows that poor results from the local professional football team coincided with more heart attacks in male residents,” said study author Dr. Lukasz Kuzma of the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland. “The findings suggest that the mental and emotional stress of defeat can provoke cardiac events.”
The study examined the connection between performance of the Jagiellonia Bialystok football team and admissions for acute coronary syndromes. The club is known for its large group of avid supporters – an average of 17,174 per match in the 2016/17 season – who strongly identify themselves with the team.
The study included 10,529 patients with acute coronary syndromes (heart attack and unstable angina) admitted to the Clinical Hospital of Medical University of Bialystok in 2007 to 2018. This was the only centre in the city with 24-hour invasive cardiology services during this period. The average age of patients was 66.6 years and 62% were men.
The team played 451 national and European matches during the study period. The day after the team lost a home game, there was a 27% rise in male admissions for acute coronary syndromes. No association was found in women.
“Strong emotions can induce heart attacks and our study indicates that losing a home game can affect supporters,” said Dr. Kuzma. “Fans, particularly men with unhealthy lifestyles, should take up regular exercise and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These steps are the key to supporting your favourite team as long as you wish without damaging your own health.”