New study reveals link between football and dementia

Former footballers are approximately three and a half times more likely to die from neurodegenerative disease than the general population, according to a new study.

The report, released on Monday and commissioned by the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association, assessed the medical records of 7,676 men who played professional football in Scotland between 1900 and 1976.

Their records were matched against more than 23,000 individuals from the general population, with the study led by consultant neuropathologist Dr Willie Stewart of Glasgow University.

His findings report that the “risk ranged from a five-fold increase in Alzheimer’s disease, through an approximately four-fold increase in motor neurone disease, to a two-fold Parkinson’s disease in former professional footballers compared to population controls”.

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