New research claims that athletes who “bulk up” increase their chances of developing heart disease. Joene Hendry of Reuters reports:
"Our work demonstrates a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome, an established cardiovascular risk factor, among retired National Football League (NFL) linemen," said Dr. Marc A. Miller, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, in New York. Football linemen are position players commonly of large body size.We’ve seen this before:
A clustering of heart disease and diabetes risk factors including high blood pressure, low levels of 'good' cholesterol, high levels of blood lipids (fats), and elevated blood sugar and body weight make up the metabolic syndrome.
When Miller and colleagues compared metabolic syndrome rates among 510 retired NFL players, they found that nearly 60 percent of linemen had metabolic syndrome, compared with 30 percent of those playing other positions.
Moreover, greater than 85 percent of the linemen were obese, as opposed to half of the non-linemen, the researchers report in The American Journal of Cardiology.
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