Former football players prone to late-life health problems, study finds
Former football players experience more late-life cognitive difficulties and worse health than other former athletes and non-athletes. An MU study found that these athletes can alter their diet and exercise habits to improve their mental and physical health. Credit: University of Missouri-Columbia
Football players experience repeated head trauma throughout their careers, which results in short and long-term effects to their cognitive function, physical and mental health. University of Missouri researchers are investigating how other lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, impact the late-life health of former collision-sport athletes.
The researchers found that former football players experience more late-life cognitive difficulties and worse physical and mental health than other former athletes and non-athletes. In addition, former football players who consumed high-fat diets had greater cognitive difficulties with recalling information, orientation and engaging and applying ideas. Frequent, vigorous exercise was associated with higher physical and mental health ratings.
"While the negative effects of repeated collisions can't be completely reversed, this study suggests that former athletes can alter their lifestyle behaviors to change the progression of cognitive decline," said Pam Hinton, associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology. "Even years after they're done playing sports, athletes can improve their diet and exercise habits to improve their mental and physical health."
In the study, Hinton compared former collision sport (football) players to former non-collision- sport athletes and non-athletes. Participants were given questionnaires to assess their cognitive, mental and physical health. The researchers examined how players' current lifestyle habits negatively or positively affected their collision-related health problems. Former football players who consumed more total and saturated fat and cholesterol reported more cognitive difficulties than those who consumed less fat and had better dietary habits.
"Football will always be around, so it's impossible to eliminate head injuries; however, we can identify ways to reduce the detrimental health effects of repeated head trauma," Hinton said. "It's important to educate athletes and people who work with athletes about the benefits of low-fat and balanced diets to help players improve their health both while playing sports and later in life. It's a simple, but not an easy thing to do."
More information: The study, "Effects of Current Exercise and Diet on Late-Life Cognitive Health of Former College Football Players," is published in the current issue of Physician and Sportsmedicine.
Provided by University of Missouri-Columbia
- Retired NFL players at higher risk for mild cognitive impairment Jul 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Concussed high school athletes who receive neuropsychological testing sidelined longer Dec 15, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- For big athletes: Possible future risk Oct 26, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Athletes not spared from health risks of metabolic syndrome Jan 13, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- College football linemen take one for the team in terms of health Dec 07, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Women are less likely than men to receive care in a trauma center after severe injury, according to a new study of almost 100,000 Canadian patients.
Health 9 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
High-intensity, short duration warm up activities at half time intervals boost athletic performance, a study of soccer players has found.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Pre-proceedings process fails to reduce length of care proceedings, but can help divert cases from court
A major new report on a procedure that aims to reduce the duration of care proceedings for children has found it made no significant difference to what happened in court, and cases lasted just as long regardless of whether ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
New research undertaken on the streets of Richmond and Abbotsford has revealed increasing health risks for people who inject drugs and significant community concern over the impact of injecting in public ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Sunbathers this summer will find new sunscreen labels that are designed to make the products more effective and easier to use.
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study conducted by researchers at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center found men diagnosed as children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were twice as likely to be obese in a 33-year ...
6 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A new computer model could help scientists predict when a particular strain of avian influenza might become infectious from bird to human, according to a report to be published in the International Journal Data Mining an ...
34 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have mapped the significance of heredity for common forms of atherosclerotic disease. No studies have previously examined whether different forms of the disease share heredity.
31 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
It is impossible to predict the evolution of China's human H7N9 bird flu outbreak as researchers are still trying to understand the source of human transmission, the head of the World Health Organisation said Monday.
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Federal health regulators say an experimental insomnia drug from Merck can help patients fall asleep, but it also carries worrisome side effects, including daytime drowsiness and suicidal thinking.
27 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Over the past few decades, neuroscientists have made much progress in mapping the brain by deciphering the functions of individual neurons that perform very specific tasks, such as recognizing the location ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |