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Football fans heart risk warning

30th June 2006

Football fans are being warned to stay calm during England's World Cup clashes or risk a heart attack.

Health experts at BUPA made the warning ahead of Sunday's game against Ecuador after research has shown the risk of heart attacks rises by a quarter during key matches.

Doctors noted stress levels in football matches can induce attacks after England were knocked out on penalties by Argentina in 1998 competition.

When people's emotions run high stress levels can shoot up affecting both their heart rate and blood pressure, explained BUPA's Tony Urwin.

His warnings come after a British Medical Journal study of the affect of the England match against Argentina eight years ago. The clash is perhaps best remembered for a wonder goal by a then 18-year-old Michael Owen which was followed by England going out of the competition in a penalty shoot out.

The study found for 48 hours following the defeat there was a 25 per cent rise in hospital admissions for heart attacks.

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