Are Die-Hard Football or Other Sports Fans at Risk of Cardiovascular Events?

Curr Probl Cardiol. 2020 Nov 2;100743. doi: 10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2020.100743. Online ahead of print.


Trigger factors such as earthquakes, war, and terrorism have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular events in different studies. Similarly, strong emotions and psychological stress have been associated with myocardial infarction, symptomatic arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Die-hard soccer, rugby, football, and baseball fans seem to be at risk of cardiac events, particularly in individuals with prior history of coronary artery disease. Transient hemodynamic changes, endothelial dysfunction, and an overwhelming sympathetic nervous system stimulation appear to affect cardiac hemostasis creating a procoagulant and arrhythmogenic environment. High-risk behaviors such as tobacco abuse and binge drinking appear to contribute to this risk generating a proinflammatory state characterized by elevated levels of endothelin-1 and overexpression of sCD40L, sVCAM-1, MCP-1, and TNF-alpha. The outcome of the game and unexpected results, especially among fans of the defeated team, seem to further correlate with adverse cardiovascular effects.

Publication types

  • Review