Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Saturday, March 05, 2005

This Sounds Bad

So Italian soccer players get Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) at a much higher rate than the general population. Association studies with rare conditions are alawys problematic but this one seems well done. As one might expect if the association is real, the risk increases with lenght of playing and the soccer players get it younger than the general population.

One explanation not mentioned in the article (I haven't yet read the original) is that some characteristic that is common among professional soccer players, such as high testosterone levels, predisposes to ALS. This would also explain, in part, the increased incidence in men.

Maybe I'll go sit on the couch and enjoy some chips instead of working out.


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