A Game So Good It Could Kill You

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In addition to aspirin, a healthy dose of common sense at the tailgate party or buffet line may be a good idea for some.

"Prior to the Super Bowl, or any other sporting event that may produce stress, cardiac patients should show restraint with regards to unhealthy high fat foods — avoiding pizza, burgers and fried chicken, as well as avoidance of alcohol and cigarette smoke and full compliance with [their] medications," says Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, director of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation at the New York University Medical Center.

And, last but not least, those prone to game-time anxiety should remind themselves to take a time out if the action gets too intense.

"My suggestion for patients with severe cardiac disease that are likely to be emotionally invested in the game is not to watch or do so calmly, do not drink, not to violate any dietary restrictions and do not bet on the games," says Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of the division of cardiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. —

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