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Soccer pros may face increased risk of death from neurodegenerative disease

Key clinical point: Mortality associated with neurodegenerative disease is higher, and mortality associated with other causes lower, among former pro soccer players vs. controls.

Major finding: Mortality associated with neurodegenerative disease was 1.7% vs. 0.5% in the players vs. controls (HR adjusted for competing risks of death, 3.45).

Study details: A retrospective cohort study of 7,676 former pro soccer players and 23,028 matched controls.

Disclosures: This study was supported by the Football Association and Professional Footballers’ Association, and by an NHS Research Scotland Career Researcher Fellowship. Dr. Mackay reported having no relevant financial disclosures.


Mackay D et al. N Engl J Med. 2019 Oct 21. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1908483.