For N.F.L. Players, Another Risk: Heart Disease

The New York Times

Published: November 3, 2010

“I don’t want to be one of those guys you pick up the paper and read about,” he said, referring to news reports of young former professional football players dying of heart attacks.

Quast was shaken in 2004 when the Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White, whom he got to know with the Eagles, died of cardiac arrhythmia at 43. “He was larger than life,” Quast said. “When that happens to a guy like him, it makes you wonder if we’re all a piece of meat.”

The cardiovascular screening program for retired N.F.L. players was created in 2003 by a retired New Jersey heart surgeon, Dr. Arthur Roberts, and was originally financed by the players union and private donations. The program has since expanded and moved under an umbrella group called the N.F.L. Player Care Foundation, which includes the union, the league, a player alumni group and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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