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BMJ. 2002 Dec 21;325(7378):1439-42.

Admissions for myocardial infarction and World Cup football: database survey.

Author information

  • 1School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine hospital admissions for a range of diagnoses on days surrounding England's 1998 World Cup football matches.

DESIGN:

Analysis of hospital admissions obtained from English hospital episode statistics.

SETTING:

England.

PARTICIPANTS:

Population aged 15-64 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Ratio of number of admissions for acute myocardial infarction, stroke, deliberate self harm, and road traffic injuries on the day of and five days after England's World Cup matches, compared with admissions at the same time in previous and following years and in the month preceding the tournament.

RESULTS:

Risk of admission for acute myocardial infarction increased by 25% on 30 June 1998 (the day England lost to Argentina in a penalty shoot-out) and the following two days. No excess admissions occurred for other diagnoses or on the days of the other England matches. The effect was the same when only the two days after the match were treated as the exposed condition. Individual analyses of the day of and the two days after the Argentina match showed 55 extra admissions for myocardial infarctions compared with the number expected.

CONCLUSION:

The increase in admissions suggests that myocardial infarction can be triggered by emotional upset, such as watching your football team lose an important match.

PMID:
12493655
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC139028
Free PMC Article
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