Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta wipes his tears as he addresses fans at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. File / AFP
"Strong emotions can induce heart attacks and our study indicates that losing a home game can affect supporters," said study author Dr Lukasz Kuzma of the Medical University of Bialystok in Poland.
"The findings suggest that the mental and emotional stress of defeat can provoke cardiac events," Kuzma added.
For the study, presented at EAPC Essentials 4 You, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology, the research team examined the connection between performance of the Jagiellonia Bialystok football team and admissions for acute coronary syndromes.
The club is known for its large group of avid supporters — an average of 17,174 per match in the 2016/17 season — who strongly identify themselves with the team.
The study included 10,529 patients with acute coronary syndromes (heart attack and unstable angina) admitted to the Clinical Hospital of the Medical University of Bialystok from 2007 to 2018.
This was the only centre in the city with 24-hour invasive cardiology services during this period. The average age of patients was 66.6 years and 62 per cent were men.
Two fans wearing protective face masks hug each other in the stands, as the match goes ahead despite most sport being cancelled around the world, in Belarus. Reuters
The team played 451 national and European matches during the study period. The day after the team lost a home game, there was a 27 per cent rise in male admissions for acute coronary syndromes.
No association was found in women, according to the study.
"Our study shows that poor results from the local professional football team coincided with more heart attacks in male residents," Kuzma said.
"Fans, particularly men with unhealthy lifestyles, should take up regular exercise and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption," Kuzma added.
These steps are the key to supporting your favourite team as long as you wish without damaging your own health, the researchers noted.
Indo-Asian News Service
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