Welcome to CDC Stacks | Suicide Mortality Among Retired National Football League Players Who Played 5 or More Seasons - 42170 | CDC Public Access
Stacks Logo
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.
 
 
Help
Clear All Simple Search
Advanced Search
Suicide Mortality Among Retired National Football League Players Who Played 5 or More Seasons
  • Published Date:
    May 05 2016
  • Source:
    Am J Sports Med. 44(10):2486-2491.


Public Access Version Available on: October 01, 2017 information icon
Please check back on the date listed above.
Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    27159317
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5048489
  • Funding:
    CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:
    Background

    There is current disagreement in the scientific literature about the relationship between playing football and suicide risk, particularly among professional players in the National Football League (NFL). While some research indicates players are at high risk of football-related concussions, which may lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy and suicide, other research finds such a connection to be speculative and unsupported by methodologically sound research.

    Purpose

    To compare the suicide mortality of a cohort of NFL players to what would be expected in the general population of the United States.

    Study Design

    Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

    Methods

    A cohort of 3439 NFL players with at least 5 credited playing seasons between 1959 and 1988 was assembled for statistical analysis. The vital status for this cohort was updated through 2013. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs), the ratio of observed deaths to expected deaths, and 95% CIs were computed for the cohort; 95% CIs that excluded unity were considered statistically significant. For internal comparison purposes, standardized rate ratios were calculated to compare mortality results between players stratified into speed and nonspeed position types.

    Results

    Suicide among this cohort of professional football players was significantly less than would be expected in comparison with the United States population (SMR = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.24–0.82). There were no significant differences in suicide mortality between speed and nonspeed position players.

    Conclusion

    There is no indication of elevated suicide risk in this cohort of professional football players with 5 or more credited seasons of play. Because of the unique nature of this cohort, these study results may not be applicable to professional football players who played fewer than 5 years or to college or high school players.

  • Supporting Files:
    No Additional Files