Entertainment

A New Study Shows That Diehard Soccer Fans Are Putting Themselves At A Risk Of A Heart Attacks From Stress

That fútbol stress is real you guys, like, physically real. A study revealed that soccer fans experience such intense levels of physical stress while they watch their team, they could be putting themselves at risk of a heart attack. You read that right. Fútbol fans get so invested in their team’s games that they are putting themselves at physical risk.

They don’t call it ‘la pasión’ for nothing. 

Growing up Latino, you definitely jumped when your dad and tíos got over-excited screaming “GOL” during fútbol matches.  Eventually, we joined in. Now, it turns out that the stress and the nerve-wracking anticipation of what’ll happen next are actually damaging. Like, for real.  A study by the University of Oxford suggested that fans of soccer are putting themselves under some serious stress when they watch their team.

The Oxford study tested saliva from Brazilian fans during their historic loss to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

The study found levels of the hormone cortisol rocketed during the 7-1 home defeat in the semi-final.

Particularly devoted fans are more at risk of experiencing dangerous levels of the ‘fight or flight’ hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone commonly associated with stress. ‘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,’ Dr. Martha Newson, a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion, University of Oxford, told BBC. ‘Fans who are more casual supporters also experience stress, but not so extremely.’ This study was published in the journal Stress and Health.

This increase in blood pressure and strain on the heart can be very dangerous.

The researchers found no difference in stress levels between men and women during the game, despite preconceptions men are more “bonded to their football teams”.

Raised cortisol can also give people a feeling of impending doom.

This feeling of doom can be defined as a sense that their life is in danger or they are under attack. Previous research has shown an increase in heart attacks among fans on important match days, whether supporting club or country. Prolonged high levels of cortisol can: constrict blood vessels, raise blood pressure and damage an already weakened heart.

There are many health conditions tied to extreme stress that hardcore football fans should be aware of. 

While cortisol is essential to responding to life’s daily stresses, too much cortisol over time can result in a suppressed immune system (more coughs and colds and even allergies), weight gain, and heightened blood pressure with a significant risk of heart disease. Bottom line, all this soccer-induced stress can be pretty dangerous.

In their study, the University of Oxford researchers tracked cortisol levels in 40 fans’ saliva before, during and after three World Cup matches

The most stressful by far was the semi-final. “It was a harrowing match – so many people stormed out sobbing,” Dr Newson told BBC. But the fans had used coping strategies such as humor and hugging to reduce their stress, bringing it down to pre-match levels by the final whistle.

It’s not all bad news though, experts suggest that these findings might be helpful in identifying fans who are at risk. 

From our research, we may be better equipped to identify which fans are most at risk of heart attacks,’ says Newson. ‘Clubs may be able to offer heart screenings or other health measures to highly committed fans who are at the greatest risk of experiencing increased stress during the game.’

The findings could also be relevant to improving crowd management strategies. 

Passionate soccer fans around the world have been known to engage in violent behaviors, such as hooliganism and other aggressive clashes. The findings could also be relevant to improving crowd management strategies.

The study ‘Devoted fans release more cortisol when watching live soccer matches’ can be read in the journal Stress and Health.

READ: These American Futbolistas Explain Why They Chose Mexico’s Pro League Over MLS

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Vanessa Bryant Said It Was ‘Love At First Sight’ When She First Met Kobe

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Said It Was ‘Love At First Sight’ When She First Met Kobe

Donato Sardella / Getty

Vanessa Bryant says love at first sight is very real.

The wife of the late NBA great recently revealed that it happened to her the very first time she met Kobe Bryant 21 years ago.

Over the weekend, Bryant shared a photo of her and the former LA Laker while visiting Disneyland.

Last Friday, Bryant celebrated the 21st anniversary of the day she and Kobe met. She captioned the Instagram post writing “Love at first sight 11/27/99 #21.”

Vanessa and Kobe met in 1999 during a music video shoot while she was still in high school and he was 20 years old. The couple became engaged when she turned 18, announced their engagement at her 18th birthday party, and the Bryants married in April 2001.

In 2013, Kobe shared a picture of the day they met on Instagram.

“On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4princesses) I love you my mamacita per sempre,” Kobe wrote in the Instagram post at the time.

After their 2001 message, Kobe and Vanessa had four daughters together, Natalia, 17, Gianna, 13, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 1. Tragically, in January, Bryant and Gianna passed away in a helicopter crash alongside seven others.

Last year, Kobe also reflected on the day he met his “best friend,” posting a throwback pic along with the Disneyland snap.

“On this day 20 years ago I met my best friend, my Queen @vanessabryant,” he captioned his post at the time. “I decided to take her on a date to Disneyland tonight to celebrate old school style (pre 4princesses) I love you my mamacita per sempre.”

It’s not the first time Vanessa honored her husband since his death. In October, the former model and philanthropist honored her husband and daughter with tattoos.

Speaking about her loss, Vanessa’s friend La La Anthony told Entertainment Today that she’s done her best to stay strong.

“Well, you know, I’m a real friend, that’s what friends do,” Anthony told ET in September. “You know, you don’t dip out on your friends when it gets really hard. And she’s going through something that is unimaginable, that, you know, I can’t even fathom what that feels like. So, just to be a friend and be there to make her laugh when she needs to, cry when she needs to, is a beautiful thing. But that’s what friends do for each other, you know, so I’m always going to be there for her and the girls and just, you know, want to see her just continue to be strong and amazing.”

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Argentine Soccer Legend Diego Maradona Dies at 60; Fans Grieve

Entertainment

Argentine Soccer Legend Diego Maradona Dies at 60; Fans Grieve

Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Legendary Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona is dead from a heart attack. He was 60 years old.

On Wednesday, the the Argentine Football Association announced through Twitter that it “expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts.”

Diego Maradona is considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time.

When he was just 18 years old, Maradona led Argentina to a youth World Cup Victory in 1986 and played in four more World Cups after that.

It was at the ’86 World Cup that he was catapulted into global stardom for scoring a goal that would be known afterwards as the “Hand of God”. Maradona led his team to victory over England by jumping over a goalkeeper and punching the ball into the net. Afterward, he described what drove the goal: “It was a little bit with the head and a bit with the hand of God.”

After, Maradona moved to Naples, which would become his adopted home town. He solidified his superstar status by helping the struggling Naples Club clinch its first Italian league title in 1987. A second followed in 1990.

But El Pibe de Oro was as famous for his excesses as he was for his talent. He publicly struggled with drug addiction and personal crises throughout his career and after it. Post-retirement, his health suffered.

Earlier this month, Maradona had underwent an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain. Shortly after, he was admitted to a rehab center to treat his alcohol addiction. On October 25th, he died of a heart attack in his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In the wake of Maradona’s death, there has been an outpouring of grief from fans, peers, and rivals alike.

Cristiano Ronaldo took to Twitter to express his feelings about the death of a global superstar.

“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius,” wrote Ronaldo. “One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a limitless legacy and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, crack. You will never be forgotten.”

Famous Brazilian forward Pelé also wrote a touching tribute to him on Twitter.

“What sad news,” wrote Pelé. “I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to his family. One day, I hope we can play ball together in heaven.”

Fellow Argentine superstar Leo Messi posted a touching tribute to Maradona on Instagram.

The two players have always drawn parallels because of their country of origin.

Maradona’s adopted stadium of San Paolo in Naples lit up in memoriam of their greatest player.

The entire sports world grieves at the passing of such a legend. Rest in peace, Diego.

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