Millions of Americans save the date for Super Bowl Sunday—Super Bowl weekend, really. As a nation, we block the calendar to let loose and let the emotions flow. Aaahhhh, the ecstatic feelings of belonging to a team, a cheering crowd, our group of rowdy buddies, wildly giving in to fandom and community, the very essence of the party! It is a time of celebration and we should indulge and partake, rightly so.
For years now, the health community at large has been trying to acquaint the population at large with some of the health hazards that this event can bring without ruining the mood. Things to watch out for are the high caloric intake of this day’s routine dietary compulsions and the binge drinking, something to be acutely aware of since it might be coupled with drunk driving.
Of course, the food intake and alcohol imbibing are obvious alarm bells to anyone with a heart condition. However, it is time to pay closer attention to the gameday jitters derived from the oftentimes unfettered investment on this date. Two separate studies have caught our eye, and are worth mentioning, regarding the growing impact that the hormone rush, the adrenaline release, and the built-up stress have, to the point where they may actually trigger a heart attack.
A 2011 study scrutinized the death records just after the 1980 and 1985 Super Bowls and reported spikes in heart attack rates.
More to the point, in an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers examined 4,279 heart cases during different Super Bowl games. Conclusions? The risk of cardiac arrest was 3x higher for men and 2x higher for women while watching the game.
American Heart Month
Precisely, February is American Heart Month — remember we also have Valentine’s Day coming up. This national calendar month was first declared by LBJ in 1964 with the intent of raising awareness on matters of the heart (health). So, the nation has been at it for over 50 years now. The level of well researched information communicated simply, in understandable terms, is enormous. There is an endless trail of resources and documentation out there concerning heart health and heart disease.
This is something you need to consider seriously this year. It is as easy as being well aware of the symptoms linked to cardiac arrest. And of taking them seriously if your heart suddenly starts feeling uneasy, or you sense something is not quite right. For the upcoming weekend, we recommend you get started by reviewing the warning signs of a heart attack.