The COVID World post date: December 26th, 2021
By Data Chinchilla
There have been many headlines about football players collapsing and dying recently and there are claims that it is happening a lot more frequently this year than you would normally expect.
Many lists have been compiled for this year with an array of news articles of such cases happening.
Claims have been made that these injuries could be related to the COVID-19 vaccines as for example myocarditis is linked to mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna.
There’s also an abstract in the American Heart Association journal ‘Circulation‘ by cardiologist Steven Gundry in which he details the results of testing heart inflammation markers of hundreds of patients who have had the vaccines. Those who took the vaccine had elevated levels which indicate a more than 200% increase in heart disease risk over 5 years.
I haven’t found a good comparison of heart-related issues in football for 2021 with previous years so how can we tell if there are a higher number of heart injuries this year than before?
I decided to go over data from Transfermarkt.com.
They keep track of injuries of football players and they have a list of over 900,000 player profiles. Not every player has up-to-date profiles, but if we are lucky we can still compile something statistically significant from there. This will allow us to compare the 2021 heart-related injury rates to previous years.
I wrote a script to go over all injury pages, for all players. It took a while to crawl over 900,000 pages, but here I present the findings.
Example of a page highlighting those injuries:
The first and most obvious thing I could think of was to just compare absolute numbers. How many cases of “Heart Condition” has there been for each year?
Following that, I figured I compile a list of injuries that stand out for the year 2021. I will compare each injury that occurs with at least 1 out of 2000 frequencies.
We will look at the data from 2015, since before 2015, injuries were not tracked as well, skewing the data.
For 2020 and 2021, there were also many “Corona virus” and “Quarantine” listed out as injuries. I have filtered those to have better comparisons with previous years.
Injuries listed by year
This data does indicate that heart-related injuries have been much more frequent this year than all the other years before.
In the other years besides 2021, there were a combined total of 89217 injuries, with 100 being heart conditions (0.11%). And in 2021, there were 19912 injuries, with 44 heart conditions (0.22%). This is an increase of 100% in the rate of heart-related conditions.
It seems clear that there is statistical significance to this number. The question is – what has caused it? Is it COVID-19, the vaccines, or something else entirely?
There’s more than a 99% chance that these heart conditions are not a statistical fluke.
Blue = All other years, Red = 2021
Injuries more frequent for 2021 than expected average
Injuries that have happened more frequently than 1 out of 2000 times, ordered by how much more frequently they appeared compared to the average rate from all injuries.
This average also considers the total average per injury counted to treat fairly years where there were fewer injuries happening.
So here, “Heart Condition” also stands out for the current year as the data indicates twice the average of other years.
Another injury that stands out is “Contracture,” which is a permanent shortening of a muscle or joint. This injury also stood out for 2020, but not for other years.
Injuries more frequent for 2020 than expected average
So “Contracture” also stands out here, but just in case let’s also review 2019 as a comparison.
It also seems that some COVID-19 cases, even though I removed those injuries from the list, may have been classified as “Virus Infection”.
Injuries more frequent for 2019 than expected average
Heart condition injuries count by quarter of the year ordered
So far it’s clear that 2021 is the most popular year for heart conditions.
It would be interesting to know how they generally divide amongst the year and how they compare to other quarters.
This would allow us to see whether most heart-related issues happened in Q2, Q3, and Q4 of 2021 when the bulk of COVID vaccinations was done for footballers.
The average “Heart Condition” injury per quarter is 5.14.
Let’s now order all the quarters since 2015. Here are the top 20 quarters laid out.
So Q3 of 2021 does seem quite a bit above all other quarters, with Q2 and Q4 of 2021 following.
Overall, this does give an impression that doesn’t rule out that these heart conditions are being caused by the vaccine.
The following is a complete conjecture and guesswork. Since there does seem to be at least a correlation, then how frequent are those incidents?
In the database, I crawled over 900,000 profiles, but not all of them are active players, and injuries are not tracked in great detail for lower-profile players. Most players whom injuries are tracked should have at least one injury per 2-3 seasons.
I picked some news articles from lists about heart issues happening in football players in 2021, and many of them didn’t seem to have “Heart Condition” listed as injury in Transfermarkt. So it seems safe to say that not all injuries, especially for lower-profile player are being well tracked.
I decided to count all players who have had any injury recorded in 18/19, 19/20, or 20/21. The total number was 26085.
In 2021, there were 44 heart conditions, which means the frequency would yield to around 1 out of 600.
Excess heart conditions are 30, and if for instance, we expect 70% of players to have received vaccinations, this would mean 30 heart conditions per 18259 vaccinated players. Or similarly around 1 out of 600.
There are more football players with heart-related issues this year than in many other years before according to the data recorded by Transfermarkt. If we were to assume that all excess is caused by vaccinations, it would yield to around a 1 out of 600 chance for footballers to get a heart condition after vaccination.
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