Abstract 15007: Do Retired National Football League Linemen Have a Higher Prevalence and Severity of Subclinical Atherosclerosis Compared With Non-Linemen?
Introduction: Retired National Football League (NFL) linemen have an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome and an increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) death compared with non-linemen and the general population.
Hypothesis: We assessed the hypothesis that the increased risk of CV death is explained by a higher prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis independent of a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome in linemen compared with non-linemen.
Methods: We evaluated coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores in 931 retired NFL players (310 linemen, 621 non-linemen). CAC scores were evaluated as presence of CAC (CAC >0) and CAC >100. Players were categorized as linemen if they played on the offensive or defensive line during their careers. We performed multivariate logistic regression to determine whether the linemen position is independently associated with the presence of CAC and CAC >100.
Results: Linemen had higher body mass index (34.5 ± 5.3 vs. 30.6 ± 4.1 g/m2, p <0.001), waist circumference (105.8 ± 24.1 vs. 96.6 ± 27.3 cm, p<0.001), and a higher prevalence of hypertension (38.8% vs. 28.5%, p=0.003), diabetes mellitus (10.4% vs. 5.5%, p=0.007), and metabolic syndrome (25.8% vs. 16.3%, p<0.001) compared with non-linemen. Lineman also had higher mean CAC scores (341.3 ± 842 vs. 230.14 ± 777.0, p =0.04), CAC >0 (66.1% vs. 58.3%, p=0.02) and CAC >100 (32.9% vs. 26.4%, p=0.04) with no differences in age (53.3 ± 12.8 vs. 53.7 ± 10.9 years, p=0.59) systolic blood pressure (p=0.25), total cholesterol (p=0.39), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (p=0.07) compared with non-linemen.Adjusting for demographic and metabolic covariates (Table), linemen status remained independently associated with CAC >0 and CAC >100.
Conclusions: Retired NFL players who played at linemen position have a higher prevalence of metabolic risk factors compared with non-linemen. Linemen status is also independently associated with presence and severity of subclinical atherosclerosis.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.