Study points to health disparities among former NFL players

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 13:40 in Psychology & Sociology

A career in professional football may yield an array of health benefits that extend beyond playing years: NFL players engage in vigorous training, tend to be more educated than other men in the U.S. and have higher median incomes than most fellow Americans — all factors associated with better overall health. But new research from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that even these advantages may not be enough to neutralize persistent gaps in health outcomes among Black, white, and players of other racial backgrounds. The analysis, based on self-reports among former NFL players, found that Black players were significantly more likely than white players to experience diminished quality of life due to impaired physical function, pain, cognitive troubles, depression, and anxiety. In four of five health outcomes, the gaps were greatest between Black and white former players. The findings, published Aug. 4 in Annals of...

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