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Suicide Among Former NFL Players

Categories: Sports and Entertainment, Suicide


The question of whether football players are at higher risk of suicide than the general population has been raised in the popular and scientific literature.  In 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a paper primarily focused on death from heart disease among former National Football League (NFL) players (see related blog NFL Players Tackling Heart Disease).  That study reported causes of death for multiple categories, including deaths from suicide.

NIOSH just published Suicide Mortality Among Retired National Football League Players Who Played 5 or More Seasons in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Sports Medicine.  This paper provides updated suicide mortality data for the same group of retired professional football players including 6 additional years of data compared to the previous studies. The study evaluated the rates of death from suicide of 3,439 retired NFL players who played at least five seasons between 1959 and 1988.  The study found that suicide deaths among this group were significantly less than would be expected when compared to the general U.S. population.  We expected to see 25.6 deaths from suicide among the study group however, the actual number of suicide deaths found in the data was 12. The rates of death from suicide of the retired NFL players in our study was less than half of what would be expected when compared with the general U.S. population. In other words, the study found no increase in risk of suicide – and in fact a lower risk of suicide – among retired NFL players when compared with the general U.S. population.

Holiday Gifts from NIOSH

Categories: Media, Observances, Sports and Entertainment

If you are lucky enough to get some time off over the holidays, you may find yourself looking for something to listen to, watch, or read.  Our gift to you this holiday season is a compilation of the songs, movies and books with workplace safety and health themes that we have collected through the NIOSH Science Blog.  These lists were initiated by NIOSH and have grown with additions from our readers.  To save you the trouble of scrolling through all of the comments, we have incorporated all of the suggestions into one comprehensive list for each medium.

Work Songs

Categories: Sports and Entertainment


The 2015 American Music Awards air this Sunday, November 22nd (8 pm EST in case you’re interested). Why is NIOSH blogging about this you may ask? Well, we’ve blogged about workplace safety and health themes in: movies twice (three times if you count the recent blog on James Bond’s occupational hazards), books, the theater, and figured it was time we looked at music to see if safety and health is represented in this medium. Turns out, we are not the only ones who have thought about this.  In honor of Labor Day,  Billboard released a list of 20 songs about Working for the Man, HitFix posted the 15 Greatest Songs About Working for a Living, the Tucson Sentinel collected Songs for Labor Day: Union tunes & working man blues, and NPR shared Labor Day Blues and Grooves. Song Facts’ list of Songs About Working  is pretty comprehensive, including the Banana Boat Song, Flamethrower, and Heigh-Ho (yes, by the Seven Dwarfs).  There is also Top 10 ’80s Songs About Work, Oldies For Workers, and Taste of Country’s 10 Best Work Songs. In 1999, the Smithsonian’s released Blues Routes: Heroes and Tricksters: Blues and Jazz Work Songs and Street Music and the Colonial Williamsburg website includes Slave Work Songs.

James Bond Exposed…To 50 Years of Occupational Hazards

Categories: Sports and Entertainment


Your heart may race while your eyes follow the iconic figure that is James Bond as he holds it together to do his job: driving at high speed down alleyways, under railway crossings, and often through explosive fire and other obstructions. You may wonder how he will survive driving a car that has just been catapulted up a runway and over a body of water. This British secret agent stops at nothing.

The opening sequence of the new film SPECTRE, in theatres worldwide November 6th, also promises to hold up well against 007’s famous openings over the years. James Bond meets Dia de los Muertos in an opening aerial stunt including a helicopter and thousands of extras recreating Mexico’s spectacular Day of the Dead festival.

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