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Warning: Watching hockey can increase the chance of heart attack

Montreal Canadiens fans of a certain age are reported to be at risk of a heart attack in the aftermath of on-ice triumph. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

The thrill of victory in the sport of ice hockey is something that should be enjoyed, but unfortunately, it appears it may come with some major side effects.

A new study reveals that younger male Montreal Canadiens fans are more likely to be admitted to hospital with heart-related problems after a Habs win than their counterparts in the general population.

Hockey Games and the Incidence of ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction analyzed Habs-supporting patients admitted for acute STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) or heart attack at the Montreal Heart Institute. 

While data was analyzed for both men and women, the most staggering jump in the risk of a heart attack was noticed in men under 55. Somewhat surprisingly, the acute elevation occurred after games the Montreal Canadiens won.


The under 55 male population experienced a 40 percent increase the day after a Canadiens home victory. Investigators believe that “the fact that game outcomes are likely unknown to the spectator until the end implies that emotional triggers at the end and/or after the match might impose a greater risk for vulnerable populations.”

The study states that the risks can be reduced with behavioural and lifestyle changes. However, despite this fascinating and informal study, eliminating hockey from this writer’s everyday routine will not be a lifestyle change occurring anytime soon. Don’t let me be a bad influence on you, however, if you decide the risk is not worth it.