What is the FIELD study?
FIELD stands for ‘Football’s InfluencE on Lifelong outcomes and Dementia risk’.
Co-funded by the PFA Charity, the FIELD study is the first peer-reviewed research to determine that having played professional football correlated with an increased rate of dementia within its sample group.
The results showed that the ex-footballers participating in the study had three and a half times the death rate due to neurodegenerative conditions than the control group.
The group of former footballers studied played in Scotland. They were all born between 1900 and 1976. Of the 7,676 footballers included within the study, 1,180 died over 18 years. 222 of those deaths were due to neurodegenerative diseases.
While the research did confirm a correlation, the findings do not definitively establish any specific cause for this link. Further research is vital. The PFA is currently committed to three other studies and will continue to fund more research in the future.