Sports Medicine Research: Current, Clear, Concise!
- Summaries of significant, published clinical studies in sports medicine
written by an experienced medical writer and physician.
- Intended for physicians and others interested in health, fitness, and athletic performance.
The Health Status of Retired Professional Football Players
This study was undertaken to assess the mental and physical health of former professional football players. 36 of the 38 living members of the 1969 Super Bowl champions were contacted and participated in a health assessment consisting of 2 questionairres, a standard health survey (SF-36) and a custom football survey. The scores were compared to age-matched U.S. norms. The average age of the retired players was 62, range of 58 to 75 years.
In 1969, 20 of the 36 players had incurred significant orthopedic injury (12 knee injuries, all requiring surgery, 4 ankle, 4 back, 2 shoulder injuries), and 16 players were uninjured. The average length of NFL careers was 8 +/- 4 years. Health conditions most commonly reported in the study year was as follows:
Arthritis 24 players (knee in 17)
Chronic back pain 13
Seven players had received total knee arthroplasties. Five players reported no health problems. Retired players overall showed no difference from age-matched norms for physical and mental health. Players with arthritis matched the norms and players without arthritis had health scores 19% above the norms. Players with chronic back pain were somewhat below the norms. Mental health scores did not differ from controls, and were not correlated with any of the physical conditions assessed. 34 of the 36 players said they would still have chosen to play professional football knowing the consequences at their current age.
Stephen J. Nicholas, James A. Nicholas, Calvin Nicholas, Jennifer R Diecchio, and Malachy P. McHugh
The Health Status of Retired American Football Players: Super Bowl III Revisited
Am J Sports Med. 2007 Oct;35(10):1674-9. Epub 2007 May 21.
Get 10 issues for $30/year. 10 HTML email newsletters with a minimum of 30 studies per year analyzed will be sent to your email address upon:
1) filling out this short form and 2) completing payment through PayPal.