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Saturday, Jun 28, 2014

Sports

Warning: World Cup can damage your health

China Daily/ANN | Saturday, Jun 28, 2014

Blood pressure is taken at a special World Cup clinic at Chengdu No 3 People's Hospital in Sichuan province. The clinic is open 24 hours a day to treat fans who fall ill while watching games at night.

World Cup football matches screened live on TV in China throughout the night are taking their toll on fans.

Doctors have been treating them for a range of conditions, including coronary spasms, high blood pressure and kidney disease.

For example, early on Friday morning, a weary middle-aged woman visited Wei Ming, head of the emergency treatment department at Chengdu No 3 People's Hospital in Sichuan province.

The patient, who once had a urinary tract infection, was diagnosed with acute pyelonephritis, a kidney disease.

"To avoid missing a single minute of a World Cup match the previous night, she didn't answer the call of nature. As excessive urine built up in her kidneys over a long period, it induced the disease,"Wei said.

The patient was one of several at a clinic the hospital set up to treat fans who develop health problems from watching the tournament late at night.

Matches in the group stage have been screened live in China from midnight, with the final game of the night ending just before 8 am. The clinic, which is open 24 hours a day, has been treating patients for hypertension and angina after they become overexcited while watching games.

On Wednesday, an intensive care unit at Peking University First Hospital treated a 56-year-old woman who had watched every game in the tournament since it started on June 13.

She developed chest pain and was hospitalized for coronary spasms, said Han Xiaoning, a doctor in the hospital's cardiovascular medicine department.

The patient, like two middle-aged men who were treated for cardiovascular conditions after staying up late to watch the games, smokes and has high blood pressure, Han said.

On Friday, the unit admitted a 49-year-old man with chest pain, back pain and high blood pressure. He had stayed up for several nights to watch the games.

Han said the man was diagnosed with an acute inflammation of the pancreas, which was caused by fatigue, alcohol and oily food. He also had gallstones.

Some fans also find that changing their daily schedules for the tournament has disrupted their biological clocks.

The Hunan Province Brain Hospital in Changsha has opened a special clinic to treat football supporters who develop health problems after staying up late at night.

Zuo Jing, a doctor at the clinic, said it receives more than 10 patients a day, most of whom have sleep disorders after watching the games. People should avoid staying up between 11 pm and 3 am and eat less oily food and drink moderately while watching matches, Zuo suggested.

Han, the doctor in Beijing, said, "For fans who want to stay up, I suggest they take a nap during the 15-minute half-time break and get enough sleep in the day."

Contact the writer at wangqingyun@chinadaily.com.cn

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