A new UK study reveals that devoted football fans can put themselves at risk of severe stress which could lead to heart attacks.
The Oxford study discovered that devoted football fans can experience extreme physical stress while watching their club. This could lead to a range of symptoms and problems including a greater risk of a heart attack.
“Fans who are strongly fused with their team – that is, have a strong sense of being ‘one’ with their team – experience the greatest physiological stress response when watching a match,” said Dr Martha Newson, a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion, at Oxford.
“Fans who are more casual supporters also experience stress but not so extremely.”
As well as a wide range of physical effects, extreme stress and raised cortisol levels can give people a feeling of impending doom. But then again most Tottenham fans would know about that already. Far healthier to follow puppy football and just re-watch this video on an endless loop!
Study uses Brazil 2014 World Cup
The study used saliva taken from 40 Brazilian fans during their historic World Cup semi-final loss against Germany.
They tracked their cortisol levels before, during and after games, with peak stress levels appearing in the historic semi-final.
“It was a harrowing match – so many people stormed out sobbing,” Dr Newson told BBC News.
Brazil fans, you might want to look away for this bit…