New Tulane University study reveals heart abnormalities in retired NFL players

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A new, first-time study by Tulane University has revealed that former National Football League (NFL) players, particularly those with larger body sizes, were found to have heart abnormalities specifically associated with high blood pressure.

Dr. Genevieve Smith, a faculty instructor at the Tulane University School of Medicine, is the lead author and Dr. Gregory Stewart, co-director of the Tulane Sports Medicine Program, is the senior author.

The study is the first to examine how an athlete’s body type and training style (strength versus endurance-based training) may influence changes in the shape of the heart years later. It’s also the first to attempt to distinguish changes that result from the intense nature of athletic training, which are likely harmless, from changes resulting from uncontrolled high blood pressure, which could be a warning sign for cardiovascular problems.

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