London: Being excited for your favourite football team, rooting for them and suffering vicariously with them may not put you at higher risk of getting a stroke, suggests new research.
The number of strokes that occur on days with major matches is not significantly higher than on days when no football is played, the findings showed.
“Our data, therefore, furnishes no significant indications of a correlation between enthusiasm for football and increased risk of stroke,” said study author Claudia Borbinha from Hospital Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal.
Many studies suggest that stress during crucial matches can trigger heart attacks or strokes in passionate football fans.
To determine how high the risk actually is of enthusiasm at a football match triggering a stroke, the group of researchers from Lisbon examined data from 2012 to 2015.
The study focused on hospital statistics around crucial matches of the three best Portuguese clubs.
As it turned out, there were 72 strokes on and after match days and 52 during comparable periods when no matches were played.
“The absolute number of strokes during football matches may have been higher but it was not an above-average outlier,” Borbinha noted.
The findings were presented at the second Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen, Denmark.