NFL linemen tend to be the heaviest players on the field. They’re also more
than twice as likely as the general population to have a syndrome that puts
them at risk of sleep apnea, heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular
diseases, according to a recent study by the Living Heart Foundation (LHF).

“Professional athletes, who often make their living related to being big and
strong, tend to suffer in retirement from the side effects of being so
large, including heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, high cholesterol, and
the Metabolic Syndrome,” said Archie Roberts, MD, founder and director of
LHF, and a former NFL quarterback. “Curiously, this health profile is not
unlike that of an increasing number of large men and women in our general

To help draw attention to heart disease and the specific cardiovascular
challenges of athletes, Siemens Healthcare, a health care industry supplier,
is partnering with LHF for a year. Siemens will supply LHF with ultrasound
systems that will be used to conduct preventive heart screenings for
professional athletes.