Adolescent football players may be at a higher risk of suffering from stroke, a new study has found.
Jared R. Brosch and Meredith R. Golomb looked at various case studies of football players in their teens that suffered a stroke and found some potential causes for strokes in young football athletes.
They found that some of the potential risks include an increase of hyperventilation, repeated neurological injury, use of anabolic steroids, use of highly caffeinated energy drinks and an increase in obesity of young players.
The authors point out the increase in obesity presents a two-fold risk as it not only increases the force of impacts among the players, but also the likelihood for other stroke risk factors such as hypertension.
“Two of our subjects had mild hypertension, but were too young to have had the many years of exposure that would lead to chronic vascular injury,” the researchers said.
Looking at the previous research, the authors did conclude that even more investigation was needed to better draw conclusions and best practices for dealing with head trauma and football in children.
“Organized childhood tackle football in the United States can begin at age 5 years, leading to potentially decades of repeated brain injuries. In addition, the body mass index of the United States pediatric football-playing population continues to increase, so the forces experienced by tackled pediatric players continues to increase,” they added.
The study has been published in the Journal of Child Neurology (JCN).