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J Epidemiol Community Health 57:429-432 doi:10.1136/jech.57.6.429
  • Research report

A matter of life and death: population mortality and football results

  1. W Kirkup,
  2. D W Merrick
  1. NHS Northern and Yorkshire, Durham, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Bill Kirkup, NHS Northern and Yorkshire, John Snow House, Durham University Science Park, Durham DH1 3YG, UK; 
 Bill.Kirkup{at}doh.gsi.gov.uk
  • Accepted 14 January 2003

Abstract

Objectives: To determine whether football results are associated with mortality from circulatory disease.

Design: Retrospective study, comparing mortality on days of football matches between 18 August 1994 and 28 December 1999 with the results of the football matches.

Setting: Newcastle and North Tyneside, Sunderland, Tees, and Leeds Health Authority areas of England.

Subjects: All persons resident in Newcastle and North Tyneside, Sunderland, Tees, and Leeds Health Authority areas of England.

Main outcome measures: Mortality attributable to acute myocardial infarction and stroke.

Results: On days when the local professional football team lost at home, mortality attributable to acute myocardial infarction and stroke increased significantly in men (relative risk 1.28, 95% confidence intervals 1.11 to 1.47). No increase was observed in women.

Conclusions: Results achieved by the local professional football team are associated systematically with circulatory disease death rates over a five year period in men, but not women.

Footnotes

  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: WK is a lifelong supporter and current season ticket holder of Newcastle United FC.

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