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Is Watching The Big Game Hazardous To Your Health?

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) --  Jets fans are certainly no strangers to stress. Mix that with a big game and you could have cause for concern. So should Jets fans skip Sunday's AFC Championship game? If they have heart problems, at least one doctor thinks it might be worth considering.

"We want Jets fans to be able to root for their team as much as they want to," said Dr. Franklin Zimmerman, Senior Attending Cardiologist and Director of Critical Care at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow. "But I will say this, if they're on medication such as cardiac medication, medicines for their blood pressure, things like that, they absolutely shouldn't forget to take their medication."

Zimmerman has been studying sports fans for years and has found that there is a connection between watching a game and rising blood pressure and stress levels.

"There's a lot of information that there are specific triggers for heart attacks and cardiac events and sometimes these triggers are certainly emotional," Zimmerman said. "Rooting for your favorite team may be one of these emotional triggers."

He says this is especially true when you introduce the "extra-curricular activities" that are almost always part of the game-watching experience.

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"During the game they're often eating salty food, they might be drinking a little more than they should and they're certainly under stress win or lose, so we want them to try to do the best they can to maintain a healthy lifestyle," Zimmerman said.

Besides keeping an eye on what and how much they eat and drink, Zimmerman recommends that Jets fans pay attention to clues from their bodies, such as shortness of breath, dizziness or pain.

And with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, Zimmerman thinks this is particularly good advice ahead of Sunday's game against the Steelers.

"The more important a game the higher the stress," Zimmerman said. "I'm sure the Jets fans are going to be at the edge of their seats. Jets fans have been frustrated for a long time, so we really hope they have a good outcome. We don't want any heart attacks or cardiac events as a result of the game."


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