Research: Football players are more likely to develop dementia than ordinary people
According to the results of a study conducted in the Scandinavian country Sweden, the risk of dementia in football players is one and a half times higher than in ordinary people.
According to the BBC's report, while the rate of dementia in ordinary people was 6 percent, this rate increased to 9 percent in football players.
The health status of 6,000 football players who played in Sweden's top league between 1924 and 2019 was compared with the health status of more than 56,000 ordinary people of similar age and surroundings.
It has been observed that football players have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's and other types of dementia than ordinary people.
Headshots Increase Risk Of Dementia
The study determined that repeatedly hitting a soccer ball causes mild brain trauma and may lead to more cases of dementia in old age.
On the other hand, it was determined that the risk of developing dementia in goalkeepers was not as high as in other football players.
The leader of the research team, Dr. "The difference in neurodegenerative disease risk when goalkeepers and other football players are compared supports this theory," said Peter Ueda.
In addition, it was pointed out that not only head traumas, but also smoking, depression, excessive alcohol consumption, inactivity and obesity, high blood pressure, old age and genetic factors are effective in the risk of dementia development.
Head Should Be Protected From Blows
While the researchers stated that there was no detailed information about the subjects' lifestyles and how many times they hit their head, they emphasized that most of the football players affected by dementia played football in the 1950-60 years when the ball was heavy.
Professor Tara Spiers-Jones of the University of Edinburgh pointed out that there is evidence that exercise reduces the risk of dementia.
Previous studies in Scotland have revealed that former professional football players are three and a half times more likely to die of dementia than other people of the same age.
As a result of the research, it was recommended that football federations in England and Europe prepare guidelines to reduce headshots for children and adults playing football.
The findings of the study were published in the journal "The Lancet Public Health."