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The Boston Globe


Harvard to lead $100m study of NFL players

Cross-campus research on 1,000 retired players aims to treat, prevent wide health problems

The National Football League players union, alarmed that its members die nearly 20 years earlier on average than other American men, has selected Harvard University to oversee a $100 million accelerated research initiative aimed at treating and ultimately preventing the broad-ranging health problems plaguing the athletes.

Legions of Harvard specialists from across its many schools and affiliated hospitals will team up with the NFL Players Association in an unprecedented study of 1,000 retired players. The researchers will look at everything from their repetitive brain traumas, torn knee ligaments, and arthritic joints to the gnawing effects of long-term exposure to acute pain and chronic use of painkillers.

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