Men avoid emergency care to watch sports

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: September 2nd, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The game starts at one. Peyton Manning throws his first touchdown at one-twenty-two. The pizza arrives at halftime.

Those chest pains? They can wait until the end of the fourth-quarter.

A new study shows that many men actually seem to wait to seek medical care until after televised sporting events are over.

For three years, University of Maryland researchers tracked how many men came into the emergency room during and after more than eight-hundred games, comparing this data with the number of men who came to the E-R during similar times when games were not on T-V.

They found that the number of men who came to the emergency room increased by fifty percent after professional football games. After baseball games, thirty to forty percent more men came to the emergency room.

Past studies have shown that men tend to wait to head to the emergency room until after playoff games are over, but researchers didn’t know until now that the same phenomenon applied to regular season games too.

Some physicians say men may not be avoiding medical care specifically because of the game, though, because they tend to put off doctor’s visits anyway.

Doctors say delaying care during a medical emergency can be dangerous. Symptoms that should not be ignored, no matter what the score is, include chest pains, breathing trouble, vision changes, fainting, confusion and uncontrolled bleeding.

After all, watching college football is great, but not if it means giving up life after the fourth quarter.