Supporting Your Sports Team - A Matter Of The Heart

Faye Prior | 2014-07-16 04:14:42

Having lived in a very Welsh town by my English standards, I understand the serious business of being an armchair athlete. A win for the Welsh rugby team and we’re painting the town red, but a loss and well.. you may as well visit England for the day if you’re hoping to see some cheery faces.

Watching sport can be stressful too, especially when you’re a super fan. How many times have you felt your blood pressure raise when your team concede a goal in the final minutes?

Now researchers have tried to quantify this stress that we feel. They went to no other than New Zealand to take a look at the health records filed on the days that the All Blacks won and lost, because where else would you find such professional arm chair athletes?

The results were quite something. Compared to the days around a win, when the team lost during the world cup, there was a 50% increase in heart failure hospital admissions for women, and a 20% in heart attack admissions. The number of irregular heart rhythms in men almost tripled!

Winning or losing really does matter, for the people of New Zealand anyway!

Faye Prior (Researcher)


Olsen et al., (2014). Winning or losing does matter: Acute cardiac admissions in New Zealand during Rugby World Cup tournaments. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, publish ahead of print Jun 12.