Could NFL Playoff football be bad for your heart?

Dallas Cowboys and your heart

There are those heart-stopping finishes and the disappointing heartbreaks.

“We all probably have heart conditions from the last few seasons of the Cowboys,” said life-long fan Jessie Holley.

Through the season’s ups and downs, Cowboys fans didn’t waver.

“It started out as a rollercoaster,” said Bish Mubarak. “On the way down Tony [Romo] getting hurt right away. Then all of the sudden, the surprise of Dak.” 

“I remember when we won back-to-back Super Bowls, so we're kind of re-living this moment right now – it's a dream come true,” said Sondra Mubarak.

The dream, the nail-biting moments and all that revved up adrenaline does put a load on your heart.

Research shows big games are linked to increases in heart attacks. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed deaths from heart attacks rose in Los Angeles the day the Los Angeles Rams lost the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers in California.

And, we’re not just talking about American football.

A German study showed emergency room visits due to heart problems more than doubled during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

“There is a clear link between extreme emotional stress and triggering heart attacks," said Baylor University Medical Center cardiologist Ravi Vallabhan.

Dr. Vallabhan, also a lifelong Cowboys fan [who ditched his white coat for our interview and instead opted for a Dak Prescott jersey] said if you don’t already eat well and regularly exercise, your heart may not be able to handle the intensity of Sunday’s game. And, if you’re betting on top of that?

“That's not a very good combination,” added Dr. Vallabhan.

“I had heart surgery this year,” said season ticket holder Tommy Fenoglio. “My doctor said my blood is blue, it wasn't red,” laughed the 61-year-old.

Doctors offer folks like Fenoglio three main tips: Get a good night’s sleep on Saturday night. On game day, limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks. Try it. And, stand up or move around during commercials and half time.

When we asked Fenoglio whether his doctor is limiting him from attending games which he usually never misses, his response had us all in stitches: “No, I've even taken my heart surgeon with me to one game."

Enjoy guys, but remember — it’s just a game.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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