Report: Former NFL Players Four Times More Likely To Die Of Brain Diseases

After studying over 3,000 former professional football players, U.S. government researchers found the death rate from Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease among retired NFL players is four times higher than the rate for the general U.S. population. The researchers suspect their findings may illustrate the long-term consequences of the multiple concussions that NFL players sustain throughout their careers in football, but they cannot establish causation without more data. According to the study, the players in the wide receiver, running back, and quarterback positions accounted for most of the deaths from the two brain diseases — which makes sense, the lead researcher explained, because they experience more “high-speed collisions” than players in other positions. Just this morning, the NFL announced its plans to donate $30 million to concussion research amid increasing controversy surrounding the league’s response to the issue of concussions among their players.