A new government study released hours before the NFL season begins has found that NFL players are four times more likely than the general U.S. population to die from Alzheimer’s and ALS.
The findings, which will be reported in the journal Neurology, "come at a time of rising concern over former football players' risk of degenerative brain diseases," according to Reuters. The researchers studied more than 3,000 players who spent at least five seasons in the NFL between 1959 and 1988.
The press release from AAN on the new study can be found here.
This is an excerpt form the AAN press release:
To determine if these risks differed by position played, researchers divided the players into two groups: those who played non-line ("speed") positions which included quarterbacks, running backs, halfbacks, fullbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, defensive backs, safeties and linebackers, and those who played line ("non-speed") positions, which included defensive and offensive linemen. Speed position players were more than three times more likely to die from a neurodegenerative cause than non-speed position players. A total of 62 percent of the players were in speed positions.
See a related story by Ryan Van Bibber at SB Nation.