Negative Impact of the UEFA European Soccer Championship on Central Hemodynamics and Arterial Stiffness: A Multicenter Study
(1) Background: watching sporting events may trigger cardiovascular events by elevating emotional stress levels. The underlying reasons and specific populations at risk are not well defined. (2) Methods: we conducted a multicenter prospective trial at three German sites during the UEFA Soccer EC 2012 and 2021 comprising 52 healthy participants (noCVD) and 18 patients hospitalized with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Subjects were studied during matches of the German national team (GP) as well as corresponding matches without German participation (noGP). Peripheral and central blood pressure (BP) and parameters of arterial stiffness were measured (Mobil-O-Graph™, I.E.M., Stolberg, Germany) before, during, and after the matches. (3) Results: in terms of CVD, peripheral as well as central BP and heart rate increased significantly during GP as well as noGP matches and remained elevated beyond the end of the matches. Likewise, arterial stiffness parameters and vascular resistance were higher during the matches and remained elevated after the matches. No consistent significant differences were found between GP and noGP matches. (4) Conclusions: this is the first study on real-life changes in hemodynamics during sport-associated emotional stress, with comparison between noCVD and CVD. We found that alterations were profound in CVD and remained elevated even after the matches.