Do Former Football Players Age Faster?

New research suggests that former professional football players may face accelerated aging, despite past research showing they have life spans similar or longer than the general population

In the new study, retired football players reported shorter health spans — defined as years free of disease – than men in the general population

Two age-related diseases — arthritis and dementia — were found more commonly among former football players, compared with men of the same age in the general population

Additionally, hypertension and diabetes were more common among younger former players, those ages 25 to 29, compared with same-age men from the general population.

The results warrant further study to define the biochemical, cellular, and physiologic mechanisms behind premature aging in former football players