Journal of Neurology

, Volume 256, Issue 6, pp 863–866

Lack of increase of cerebrovascular events during German World Cup soccer games in 2006

  • M. Jauss
  • M. Sitzer
  • E. Stolz
  • B. Misselwitz
  • F. Rosenow
Original Communication


An association of passively watching a soccer game with an incidence of cardiovascular events was previously reported. With access to the stroke database of the Federal State of Hesse, Germany, we examined whether the incidence of cerebrovascular events was elevated during the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Germany from 9 June to 9 July 2006 on days of matches involving the German team and whether particular characteristics were noted in stroke patients on these days. We analyzed a prospective stroke registry and calculated incidence ratios for the 7 days of matches played by the German team as compared with the control period ranging from May 2006 to July 2006 using a Poisson regression with a log link to model the number of cerebrovascular events per day for all patients and for subgroups of patients, grouped according to sex, severity of stroke, type of stroke and risk factors. About 2,918 patients with ischemic stroke or intracerebral hemorrhage were included. The regression model did not disclose a higher incidence of cerebrovascular events on days of matches played by the German team. Onset admission time on these days was significantly reduced. In contrast to recent observations regarding cardiac events, we found no effect of passively watching soccer games on incidence of stroke or intracerebral hemorrhage, probably because of the different underlying pathophysiologies of stroke and cardiac events. Onset admission time was slightly reduced on days when a German match was played, probably since more strokes occurred under observation of potential support persons, reflecting the tendency of German people to gather to watch matches played by the national team.


Epidemiology Cerebrovascular diseases 


  1. 1.
    Chi JS, Poole WK, Kandefer SC, Kloner RA (2003) Cardiovascular mortality in New York City after September 11, 2001. Am J Cardiol 92:857–861PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Foerch C, Misselwitz B, Sitzer M, Berger K, Steinmetz H, Neumann-Haefelin T (2005) Difference in recognition of right and left hemispheric stroke. Lancet 366:392–393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jauss M, Allendorfer J, Stolz E, Schutz HJ, Misselwitz B (2007) Treatment results of stroke patients aged >80 years receiving intravenous rt-PA. Cerebrovasc Dis 24:305–306PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kloner RA, Leor J, Poole WK, Perritt R (1997) Population-based analysis of the effect of the Northridge earthquake on cardiac death in Los Angeles County, California. J Am Coll Cardiol 30:1174–1180PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lisabeth LD, Escobar JD, Dvonch JT, Sanchez BN, Majersik JJ, Brown DL, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB (2008) Ambient air pollution and risk for ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack. Ann Neurol 64:53–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    May M, McCarron P, Stansfeld S, Ben Shlomo Y, Gallacher J, Yarnell J, Davey SG, Elwood P, Ebrahim S (2002) Does psychological distress predict the risk of ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack? The Caerphilly Study. Stroke 33:7–12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schwartz J (1999) Air pollution and hospital admissions for heart disease in eight U.S. counties. Epidemiology 10:17–22PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sugo N, Hurn PD, Morahan MB, Hattori K, Traystman RJ, DeVries AC (2002) Social stress exacerbates focal cerebral ischemia in mice. Stroke 33:1660–1664PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Truelsen T, Nielsen N, Boysen G, Gronbaek M (2003) Self-reported stress and risk of stroke: the Copenhagen City Heart Study. Stroke 34:856–862PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    van Swieten JC, Koudstaal PJ, Visser MC, Schouten HJ, van Gijn J (1988) Interobserver agreement for the assessment of handicap in stroke patients. Stroke 19:604–607PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wainwright NW, Surtees PG, Wareham NJ, Harrison BD (2007) Psychosocial factors and incident asthma hospital admissions in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort study. Allergy 62:554–560PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wilbert-Lampen U, Leistner D, Greven S, Pohl T, Sper S, Volker C, Guthlin D, Plasse A, Knez A, Kuchenhoff H, Steinbeck G (2008) Cardiovascular events during World Cup soccer. N Engl J Med 358:475–483PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Jauss
    • 3
    • 5
  • M. Sitzer
    • 2
  • E. Stolz
    • 3
  • B. Misselwitz
    • 4
  • F. Rosenow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, University HospitalPhilips UniversityMarburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, University HospitalJohann Wolfgang Goethe UniversityFrankfurtGermany
  3. 3.Justus-Liebig University of GiessenGiessenGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Quality Insurance HesseFrankfurtGermany
  5. 5.Department of NeurologyOEHKMuehlhausenGermany

Personalised recommendations