Mental health and suicide in former professional soccer players

In addition to cognitive impairment, a range of mental health disorders are proposed as clinical presentations of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The main aim of this study was to assess whether former professional football players, with a known elevated risk of neurodegenerative disease, were also at greater risk of poor mental health outcomes. In order to find this out, we used mental health hospital admission data, and assessed common mental health disorders.


· Former players were at reduced risk of hospital admission for the most common mental health disorders affecting the Scottish male population.

· Specifically, risk was reduced in former soccer players for; anxiety and stress related disorders, depression, bipolar and other affective mood disorders, alcohol use disorders, and drug use disorders.

· There were no differences in deaths due to suicide.

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Russell, E. R., McCabe, T., Mackay, D. F., Stewart, K., MacLean, J. A., Pell, J. P., Stewart, W. (2020) Mental health and suicide in former professional soccer players. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2020-323315