Can Super Bowl lead to heart attacks? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Can Super Bowl lead to heart attacks?

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(CNN) -- When can the intensity of a good football game be too much?

Dr. Arshed Quyyumi, a cardiologist at Atlanta's Emory University, says emotional stress from disasters like earthquakes or floods can trigger heart attacks and even death.

But the Super Bowl?

Los Angeles researchers studied football fans there in the 1980s.

They found a Super Bowl loss by the L.A. Rams was associated with more cardiac deaths than the win by the L.A. Raiders four years later, and the difference was more dramatic among women than men.

They also found intensity of the game mattered. The Rams' 1980 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers was a nail-biter.

Super Bowl party rituals like overeating, drinking and smoking may be part of the problem.

"All of these things lead to disturbances in your blood pressure, heart rate, and how the blood vessels are working," says Dr. Quyyumi.

There's no one-size-fits-all guide for prevention, but there is some advice for people with heart disease:

Dr. Quyyumi says patients "need to pay particular attention to not getting carried away."

This precaution applies to all smokers and anybody with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

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