Cardiometabolic Abnormalities in Current National Football League Players

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO, USA.
The American journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 3.28). 05/2009; 103(7):969-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.12.046
Source: PubMed


Media reports suggested an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease and premature death in former National Football League (NFL) players. The prevalence of cardiometabolic syndrome was determined in current active NFL players. The presence of cardiometabolic syndrome was defined as > or =3 of (1) blood pressure > or =130/85 mm Hg, (2) fasting glucose > or =100 mg/dl, (3) triglycerides > or =150 mg/dl, (4) waist circumference > or =100 cm, and (5) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol < or =40 mg/dl. Sixty-nine of 91 players (76%) from 1 NFL team were studied before the 2008 preseason training camp. Cardiometabolic syndrome markers, body mass index (BMI), waist-height ratio, and triglycerides/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio were compared between 69 players and an age- and gender-matched reference population from NHANES (1999 to 2002) and by player position of linemen versus nonlinemen. Blood pressure > or =130/85 mm Hg, glucose > or =100 mg/dl, and BMI > or =30 kg/m(2) were significantly more prevalent in the 69 players than the NHANES cohort (28% vs 17%, p = 0.032; 19% vs 7%, p = 0.002; and 51% vs 21%, p <0.001, respectively), although cardiometabolic syndrome prevalence was similar in both groups. However, cardiometabolic syndrome prevalence, BMI > or =30 kg/m(2), and waist-height ratio >0.5 were significantly more common in the linemen versus the nonlinemen subgroup (22% vs 0%, p = 0.004; 100% vs 32%, p <0.001, and 95% vs 36%, p <0.001 respectively). In conclusion, cardiometabolic syndrome and its individual components were noted in current NFL players, particularly linemen.

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