Back to Results

ACL Injury and Heart Health

DATE
March 20, 2019

ACL tears frequently occur during the football playing years and may have important implications for long-term health. Below, you will find our early research results on the potential consequences of ACL injury, along with some action steps to help you be proactive about your health.

What the Science Says

Our analysis of 3,500 former players indicates that those who sustained ACL tears may be at an increased risk for health problems later in life. Specifically, ACL injury and repair may:

While we expected to find strong associations between ACL tears and long-term joint health (knee replacement surgery and arthritis), the potential relationship between ACL injury and heart health is much more surprising. Although this finding requires further study to be confirmed, former players can still use this information to be proactive about their health now.

Potential Action Steps 

Heart health is something all former players should prioritize, regardless of whether or not they have sustained an ACL injury. Below are some joint-friendly tips for maintaining and improving your heart health:

Resources

Below are external resources that may help you be proactive about your heart health. The Trust and Living Heart Foundation provide medical evaluations to former players, while the American Heart Association is a reliable source of information on specific heart health topics and healthy lifestyle choices.

Our Research Priorities

Our research continues to prioritize joint and heart health as top concerns. We are funding cutting edge ACL repair research that has the potential to eliminate reconstruction-related osteoarthritis, as well as innovative techniques for osteoarthritis relief. We also have several projects focused on heart health, including our Health and Wellness Initiative (Q1 and Q2) and our upcoming In-Person Assessment Study, which will bring former players to Boston for head-to-toe evaluations at Harvard hospitals.

If you have questions about the information above or would like to learn more about the Study, please call us (617.432.5000) or email us.

Read the paper: Relation of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears to Potential Chronic Cardiovascular Diseases