College football players may need to play more defense – against high blood pressure.

A small study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation found that more than half of the first-year football players at a university developed elevated blood pressure by season’s end.

Researchers noted that the link doesn’t mean that playing college football causes hypertension. They suggested that some players may be more susceptible – especially offensive and defensive linemen, and for those who gain weight and those with a family history of high blood pressure.

Previous studies show that high blood pressure in young people increases their chances of heart disease later in life. This trend among first-year football players is a reminder of how important it is for athletes to monitor their blood pressure.


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