The health problems that often plague athletes are well-known, but what about the zealous followers who watch them play? Aside from the risks associated with dashed hopes and happy dances, is there much to be concerned about? In fact, there is. Researchers have been taking a look at what happens to sports fans who are emotionally invested in the outcome of a big game, and while there can be positive benefits of being a fanatic for your team, at times, even being a fan can be treacherous.
1. Heart attacks
Because of the connection between emotions and cardiac health, heart-related deaths can rise or fall in a region depending on how the local teams fare. In 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat Arizona in the Super Bowl, for example, Pittsburgh-area doctors noticed 25 percent fewer circulatory heart-related deaths than average over the following eight days, according to Robert Kloner, a cardiology professor at the University of Southern California who talked to the Wall Street