Study Finds Hormone Problems in Group of Retired NFL Players

Source: Los Angeles Times

By Nathan Fenno

Repeated head injuries among professional football players can lead to hormonal dysfunction and decreased quality of life, according to a study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma earlier this month.

The study found 16 of the 68 retired NFL players examined had pituitary hormonal deficiency. Thirty-four of the former players also showed evidence of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that included high blood pressure and high cholesterol that are also associated with low testosterone.

"This is really about quality of life and functioning at an optimal level," said Dr. Daniel Kelly, the study's co-author who is director of the Brain Tumor Center at Saint John's Health Center and the John Wayne Cancer Institute. "If the pituitary gland isn't working well, they don't feel well. They don't think well. It has a real effect on the quality of life."
The retired players ranged in age from 30 to 65 and had median NFL experience of five seasons. Thirty-seven suffered three or more concussions during their careers.

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