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Big players prone to high blood pressure

SUPERSIZED American football players are prone to high blood pressure but fare better on some other health measures than more average-sized men, new NFL-sponsored research shows.

The mixed results suggest that intense physical conditioning can help reduce but not wipe out heart disease-related risks from excess weight.

Compared with other men their age, the National Football League players studied were more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure - 14 percent versus 6 percent for non-players.

Among the biggest players - linemen with a body mass index in the obese range - about 90 percent had either high blood pressure or pre-hypertension, which is less dangerous but still risky.

The biggest players also had worse levels of "good" cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides, but fewer signs of pre-diabetes than non-players.

The NFL and study authors downplayed the negative findings from a pool of 504 players of all sizes.

Except for high blood pressure, the authors said, players on average faced no greater heart disease risks than men their same age in the general population.


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