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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard: Number of Years in NFL, Certain Positions Portend Greater Health Risks for Former Players

Longer National Football League (NFL) careers and certain playing positions appear to each spell greater long-term risk for serious cognitive problems such as confusion, memory deficits, depression and anxiety in former football players, according to a new report published Aug. 30 in The American Journal of Sports Medicine

The study is believed to be the first to explore the interplay between career length, position and cognitive and mental health outcomes among professional football players.

The analysis — based on a survey of nearly 3,500 former NFL players — was conducted by investigators at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School as part of the ongoing Football Players Health Study at Harvard University.

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