Retired football players who are overweight could be at greater risk for cognitive problems compared to normal-weight former players, a study finds.
Football players might have the health deck stacked against them in other ways, since they're also at risk for brain injury from concussions. Add obesity into the mix and it may up the ante even more. Other studies have shown a link between obesity and cognitive impairment.
Researchers analyzed data in two groups: 38 retired NFL players who were at a healthy weight and 38 retired players who were overweight. In both groups the average age of the players was 58.
All study participants were given a series of neuropsychological exams that measured such things as information processing speed, reasoning, reaction time and general cognitive function. They were also given tests that measured blood flow in the brain to see if certain areas were not getting enough blood.
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