Sports fans who think they understand the tension of a close game should
take heed. As the clock ticks down, cheers and jeers can trigger not only
yells and screams—but sudden myocardial infarctions (MI), too.
The English authors of an analysis of emergency department records are
so convinced of the phenomenon that they are calling for the death of soccer
match penalty shoot-outs, where the outcome teeters on 10 swift kicks (BMJ. 2002;325:1442-1443). "Aside from issues of sporting
fairness, perhaps the lottery of the penalty shoot-out should be abandoned
on public health grounds," write University of Bristol clinical epidemiologist
George Davey Smith, PhD, and colleagues.
Vastag B. Soccer "Sudden Death" Given New Meaning. JAMA. 2003;289(4):413. doi:10.1001/jama.289.4.413