According to research, devoted football fans experience a huge amount of stress while watching their team play, which, in turn, puts them at a greater risk of having a heart attack.
The study was done by Oxford as they tested the saliva of Brazil fans during their embarrassing loss to Germany in the semi-final. The cortisol levels in the fans skyrocketed as they witnessed their team being schooled 7-1 by eventual 2014 World Cup winners Germany.
Dr. Martha Newson, a researcher at Oxford, suggested that the fans who feel one with the team feel the greatest stress response during a match and also added that casual fans also have a similar reaction but not as extreme as the highly devoted ones.
"Fans who are strongly fused with their team - that is, have a strong sense of being 'one' with their team - experience the greatest physiological stress response when watching a match," she said, as per BBC.
"Fans who are more casual supporters also experience stress but not so extremely."
The research also busted the myth that men feel more bonding with a team than women as they found the same level of stress in both genders while watching their respective teams.
Increased cortisol levels can constrict the blood vessels, raise blood pressure and damage the heart in the process.
The solution to this, according to Dr. Newson, could be implemented by the teams itself.
"Clubs may be able to offer heart screenings or other health measures to highly committed fans who are at the greatest risk of experiencing increased stress during the game," she said.