NSC expo
Subscribe or Register
View Cart  

Earn recertification points from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals by taking a quiz about this issue.

What's Your Opinion?

Does your CEO "get it" about the value of worker safety and health?

Take the poll and add your comment.

Vote Results

NIOSH: NFL players at risk for brain disorders

September 12, 2012

Tags
  • / Print
  • Reprints
  • Text Size:
    A A

Atlanta – Professional football players may be more likely to die from neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, according to a study conducted by NIOSH.

Researchers studied 3,493 players who participated from 1959 to 1988 in at least five seasons in the National Football League. The rate of death from neurodegenerative disorders among retired players was 3 times higher than the general population, researchers found. Of the 334 deceased players, 17 had neurodegenerative causes of death. Researchers used death certificate information to determine causes of death.

Additionally, the rate of death for two subcategories of disease – Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) – was 4 times higher than the general population.

Although researchers did not find a direct cause-effect relationship between football-related concussions and neurodegenerative disorders, the institute noted that its findings support other research suggesting players are at higher risk of death from these disorders.

Researchers also found neurodegenerative deaths were more common among players in speed positions, such as quarterback, running back, fullback, safety, wide receiver and linebacker.

The study was published online Sept. 5 in the journal Neurology.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy.