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Am J Cardiol. 2010 Sep 1;106(5):664-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.04.022.

Comparison of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in professional baseball players versus professional football players.

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Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Missouri, USA.


In 2006, a newspaper report indicated an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease and early mortality in retired professional football players compared to professional baseball players. This study included 69 professional football players from a 2008 National Football League training camp and 155 professional baseball players from an American League 2009 spring training site who volunteered to participate in a study of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. The prevalence of body mass index > or =30 kg/m(2), waist circumference > or =100 cm, waist/height ratio >0.5, blood pressure > or =130/85 mm Hg, triglycerides > or =150 mg/dl, triglycerides/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio >3.5, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol < or =40 mg/dl, and alanine aminotransferase > or =40 IU/L was determined in baseball players and compared to measurements obtained in a matched cohort from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), professional football players, and linemen and nonlinemen subsets. In conclusion, professional baseball players had favorable cardiovascular parameters, with the exception of an increased prevalence of hypertension, compared to the reference population, and professional baseball players had decreased measures of obesity, hyperglycemia, and the cardiometabolic syndrome compared to professional football lineman.

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