Despite their large size, NFL players have similar heart risk factors to men in the general population. A study of 500 football players in the National Football League finds that they have heart risk profiles similar to men in the general population despite their overall bigger size and heavier weight. The football players were compared to men in the same age group, 23 to 35 years old. Overall, the football players had lower levels of fasting blood sugar, 6.5% versus 15.5%, but a greater rate of high blood pressure, 13.8% to 5.5%. Cholesterol levels were about the same for both groups, however, the football players were much less likely to smoke, 0.1% versus 30.5%. Researchers say the physical activity of the football players likely does much to offset the risks they might have from weight and size.
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