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Why are former MLB players dying earlier than their NFL counterparts?




Pat Burrell #5 of the San Francisco Giants uses smokeless tobacco during warm ups prior to playing the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Pat Burrell #5 of the San Francisco Giants uses smokeless tobacco during warm ups prior to playing the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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When it comes to the effects of athletics on lifespans, most would expect physical sports like football or mixed martial arts could lead to shorter lives. Despite the rigorous athletic training and proper nutrition these sports require, the substantial hits athletes take in these sports could theoretically mean a shorter life after retirement compared to less physical sports. But in a recent story by Grantland, Bill Barnwell found that athletes who had played in the MLB were more likely to die than their NFL counterparts.

Guest:

Daniel Engberg, columnist for Slate