News: Some fans choose hockey over health

I grew up in a smaller Ontario town, so naturally the sport of hockey is in my blood. I’d catch


I grew up in a smaller Ontario town, so naturally the sport of hockey is in my blood. I’d catch the game at a friends house and occasionally, I’d watch a game or two alone, probably while doing my nails or something like that because hey, I’m a girly sports fan.

I’m nowhere near as committed to the game as most fans though, and I’ve never missed something important like say, a hospital visit because I was watching the puck drop. Apparently, sports fans may be less likely to seek medical attention during those do-or-die games, The Globe and Mail reports. With Canada’s excitement over tomorrow night’s Stanley Cup final, hospitals could see a decrease in the number of emergency room patients, according to the results of one study.

During the Canada-U.S. gold medal hockey game at last year’s Vancouver Olympics, researchers say patient visits to Ontario ERs dropped 15 to 20 percent. According to The Globe and Mail article, “a study of all 170 emergency departments in the province found that on average, 136 fewer patients per hour sought medical attention” during the Vancouver Olympic final.

The study, conducted by Donald Redelmeier, an internal medicine specialist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, found the greatest decline in patients to be among middle-class, middle-aged men.

Dr. Redelmeier noted that while there were less people seeking medical attention for gastrointestinal disorders, joint pain or traumatic injuries, “the number of patients with heart attacks and other heart-related emergencies was higher than usual.” I think it’s interesting that the game’s excitement could be a minor pain distraction, while at the same time possibly increasing heart-related emergencies.

According to Dr. Redelmeier, the increase in heart-related emergencies could be attributed to the game’s excitement, whether it precipitated a heart attack, led people to forget to take their medications or was the result of a few too many alcoholic beverages.

I guess when someone asks the question, ‘Where were you when…”, it’s not all that exciting to reply that you were sitting in a hospital waiting room. Unless of course it’s playing the actual game that put you there!

What would you put off to see that game-winning overtime goal live?

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