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Watching West Ham is bad for your heart

Devoted football fans experience such intense levels of physical stress while watching their team they could be putting themselves at risk of a heart attack, new research suggests.

The Oxford study reported by the BBC tested saliva from football fans during crucial matches.

It found levels of the hormone cortisol rocketed during important football matches. This can be dangerous, increasing blood pressure and strain on the heart.

Fans who are strongly fused with their team – that is, have a strong sense of being ‘one’ with their team – experience the greatest physiological stress response when watching a match,” said Dr Martha Newson, researcher at the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion, at Oxford.

“Fans who are more casual supporters also experience stress but not so extremely.”

Previous research has shown an increase in heart attacks among fans on important match days, whether supporting club or country.

In their study, the University of Oxford researchers tracked cortisol levels in 40 fans’ saliva before, during and after three World Cup matches.

Dr Newson suggested stadiums should dim the lights and play calming music after crunch games.

Clubs may be able to offer heart screenings or other health measures to highly committed fans who are at the greatest risk of experiencing increased stress during the game,” she added.

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

5 comments on “Watching West Ham is bad for your heart

  1. Bad for your heart ? Mate, it’s awful on the eyes!!!

  2. Tell us something we don’t know lol….

    Dimmed lights & calming music. You are ‘aving a larf…

  3. Have some confidence I still see the light

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