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Young football players may be at a higher risk of suffering a stroke than their peers, according to a new study.
Researchers Dr. Jared R. Brosch and Dr. Meredith R. Golomb of Indiana University looked at several case studies involving teen football players and found several potential causes for stroke, including an increase of hyperventilation, repeated neurological injury, use of steroids and/or highly caffeinated energy drinks and an increase in obesity in young players.
"Organized childhood tackle football in the United States can begin at age 5 years, leading to potentially decades of repeated brain injuries," the researchers wrote. "In addition, the body mass index of the United States pediatric football-playing population continues to increase, so the forces experienced by tackle pediatric players continues to increase."
Obesity presents a two-fold risk because it not only increases the force of impacts among players, but also the chances for other stroke risk factors, including high blood pressure.
A full report on the study appears in the Journal of Child Neurology.
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