Data show worsening heart function for sport’s scrimmage line over a short time span
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Blocking and tackling may not be the riskiest thing that linemen face on the football field. Blood pressure and cardiac function of college football linemen worsened over the course of a season, according to data presented November 10 at the American Heart Association’s annual scientific sessions. The study adds to evidence that these players suffer more risk of heart disease than any other members of the team.
Since a controversial study in the 1990s reported that linemen have triple the risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with other players, researchers have paid particular attention to the health consequences of playing football. Linemen are usually the largest members of a team, and they’re getting bigger, now averaging more than 300 pounds — a heart disease risk factor in itself. A 2013 study from researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found that even after taking body size into account, linemen were