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Hypertension Observed in Professional Football Players

Currently active players more likely to have the condition than other young men

TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to other healthy, young adult men, professional football players are less likely to have impaired fasting glucose but more likely to have hypertension, according to a study published in the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Andrew M. Tucker, M.D., of Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, and colleagues compared measures of cardiovascular health in 504 currently active football players with those of 1,959 men ages 23 to 35 years, who were enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study.

Compared to same-age men in the general population, the researchers found that the football players had a significantly lower prevalence of smoking (0.1 versus 30.5 percent) and impaired fasting glucose (6.7 versus 15.5 percent), and a similar incidence of high total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; and high triglycerides. However, the authors also found that the football players had a significantly higher prevalence of prehypertension (64.5 versus 24.2 percent) and hypertension (13.8 versus 5.5 percent).

"Investigation into the causes and long-term trends in hypertension in the National Football League is currently under way," the authors write.

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