Parkland Medical Center - October 25, 2018

Have you ever watched your favorite team blow a lead and said, “You guys are killing me?" Well, you might not be far from the truth. Die-hard fans can put dangerous stress on their hearts, especially when they’re rooting for the losing team in a playoff or championship game. To avoid a heart attack, keep your emotions in check to help maintain your heart health. You don’t want to miss the final score because you’re being rushed to the hospital!

Studies show an increase in cardiac incidents during championships: Don’t be a victim.

Several studies have shown an increase of cardiac-related deaths up to 27 percent during, and in the week after, football playoff games. Why? The body’s fight-or-flight response is activated by emotional stress, like the kind you feel during a close game. This response leads to the release of adrenaline and other hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones increase blood pressure and heart rate which tax the cardiovascular system, leading to an increased risk of heart attack.

Keep calm during the big game.

Spirited fans can try stepping away for a brisk walk to lower their blood pressure when their team is losing. Nothing is worth the risk of a heart attack.

Risk is higher for fans with heart disease.

For loyal supporters with existing heart disease, it’s critical to find ways to manage emotional stress during the game. Breathe deeply, minimize alcohol intake and drink plenty of water.

Instead of smoking at halftime, take a quick walk.

Stop smoking to reduce your risk of heart disease. Smoking tobacco is one of the top three risk factors.

Snack on the veggies, not the sausages!

Follow the American Heart Association’s Ideal Healthy Diet which can help lower your risk.

Booze raises blood pressure. Go easy.

Nearly 80 million Americans have hypertension (high blood pressure), a major contributing factor to heart disease. Talk to a doctor about medications that can help.

Someone in the U.S. dies from heart disease once every 90 seconds – that’s 40 deaths during a football game’s regulation playing time!


American Heart Association