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Evidence suggests that even if you don’t end with up CTE — a disease closely linked to football that can only be diagnosed after a brain autopsy — strapping on a helmet as a kid can be risky. Among the 35 players without CTE in the study, those who played football before age 12 had an earlier onset of cognitive symptoms by an average of 20 years, and behavior and mood symptoms by 22 years. (Because of this small sample size of players without CTE, however, this finding is not statistically significant). Of those 35 players, 26 had other neuropathological diagnoses such as Alzheimers, Lewy body pathology, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and axonal injury.

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The researchers, who are from Ball State University and Villanova University, used a regression analysis of county-level data about health and the share of total jobs at risk of automation. They calculated the second data set by matching county-level employment data with the risk levels calculated in a frequently cited 2013 Oxford University study that suggested almost 50 percent of jobs could be at risk of automation by 2033. The new findings suggest that workers in counties facing higher levels of automation risk reported more frequent levels of physical and mental distress, as self-reported using a rubric provided by the County Health Rankings. The counties predicted to be most affected by automation also appeared lower in a broader health ranking, which was based on factors including lifespan, access to care, and alcohol and drug use.
These changes in health, the study concludes, could increase costs for health providers by millions of dollars, including up to million due to the stress of total jobs at risk alone.

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