open access

Vol 76, No 12 (2018)
Original articles
Published online: 2018-08-07
Submitted: 2018-05-29
Accepted: 2018-08-03
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Longevity and cardiovascular mortality of Polish elite football players

Janusz Gajda, Witold Śmigielski, Janusz Śmigielski, Elżbieta Pakos, Wojciech Drygas
DOI: 10.5603/KP.a2018.0173
·
Pubmed: 30091130
·
Kardiol Pol 2018;76(12):1705-1711.

open access

Vol 76, No 12 (2018)
Original articles
Published online: 2018-08-07
Submitted: 2018-05-29
Accepted: 2018-08-03

Abstract

Background: Despite wide popularity of football, there is a paucity of scientific evidence explaining the relationship between being a competitive footballer and life expectancy.

Aim: The study analyses and compares cause-specific mortality of Polish male elite footballers and the general Polish male population.

Methods: Data regarding of 455 elite footballers who died between 1990 and 2015 were retrospectively analysed. The cause of death was established based on the official data from the Polish Central Statistical Office. The control group consisted of men from the general male population in Poland who died in the sampled period at the age of 25 years or more.

Results: The mean age at death turned out to be higher for footballers than controls (70.2 vs. 67.4 years). Cardiovascular diseases were a more common cause of death among footballers than in the general male population, both in the subgroup of subjects who died under the age of 65 years and in those who were at least 65 years old at the time of death (46.9% vs. 32.3% and 61.3% vs. 53.3%, respectively). A detailed analysis of cause-specific cardiovascular mortality revealed that acute myocardial infarction caused more deaths (odds ratio [OR] 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.68) and hypertensive disease caused less deaths (OR 0.20; 95% CI 0.05–0.79) among athletes than in the general male population. A trend analysis has shown that the level of cardiovascular mortality among footballers is falling.

Conclusions: The study results indicate excess cardiovascular mortality among Polish elite footballers.

Abstract

Background: Despite wide popularity of football, there is a paucity of scientific evidence explaining the relationship between being a competitive footballer and life expectancy.

Aim: The study analyses and compares cause-specific mortality of Polish male elite footballers and the general Polish male population.

Methods: Data regarding of 455 elite footballers who died between 1990 and 2015 were retrospectively analysed. The cause of death was established based on the official data from the Polish Central Statistical Office. The control group consisted of men from the general male population in Poland who died in the sampled period at the age of 25 years or more.

Results: The mean age at death turned out to be higher for footballers than controls (70.2 vs. 67.4 years). Cardiovascular diseases were a more common cause of death among footballers than in the general male population, both in the subgroup of subjects who died under the age of 65 years and in those who were at least 65 years old at the time of death (46.9% vs. 32.3% and 61.3% vs. 53.3%, respectively). A detailed analysis of cause-specific cardiovascular mortality revealed that acute myocardial infarction caused more deaths (odds ratio [OR] 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.68) and hypertensive disease caused less deaths (OR 0.20; 95% CI 0.05–0.79) among athletes than in the general male population. A trend analysis has shown that the level of cardiovascular mortality among footballers is falling.

Conclusions: The study results indicate excess cardiovascular mortality among Polish elite footballers.

Get Citation

Keywords

all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, footballers, longevity, sports demography

About this article
Title

Longevity and cardiovascular mortality of Polish elite football players

Journal

Kardiologia Polska (Polish Heart Journal)

Issue

Vol 76, No 12 (2018)

Pages

1705-1711

Published online

2018-08-07

DOI

10.5603/KP.a2018.0173

Pubmed

30091130

Bibliographic record

Kardiol Pol 2018;76(12):1705-1711.

Keywords

all-cause mortality
cardiovascular mortality
footballers
longevity
sports demography

Authors

Janusz Gajda
Witold Śmigielski
Janusz Śmigielski
Elżbieta Pakos
Wojciech Drygas

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