A Chinese soccer fan passed away after staying up multiple nights so he wouldn’t miss a minute of World Cup action. The 25-year-old man from Suzhou, close to Shanghai, was found slumped over in front of his TV a couple of hours after the Netherlands defeated reigning World Cup champions Spain 5-1. The game finished at around 5 a.m., Chinese time.

Doctors at Xiangcheng People's Hospital have attributed the man’s cause of death to sleep deprivation; however, the possibility of a heart attack has not been ruled out. Due to an 11-hour time difference between Suzhou and Brazil, soccer fans in China are forced to stay up all through the night if they wish to follow World Cup coverage. The majority of World Cup games in Brazil tend to start between midnight and 6 a.m. in China.

During the 2012 European Championship, Chinese soccer fan Jiang Xiaoshan died after staying up 11 consecutive nights to catch live soccer matches. Doctors said the 26-year-old died as a result of exhaustion caused by alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and sleep deprivation. Several hospital admissions related to exhaustion were also reported during the 2006 and 2010 World Cup tournaments. In hopes of being well-rested for this year’s World Cup games in Brazil, soccer fans in China have started purchasing fake sick notes from e-commerce sites to get out of work.

According to the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), sleep deprivation can have a detrimental effect on our cardiovascular health. Recent studies have attributed a lack of sleep to various health complications including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. The build-up of c-reactive protein and stress hormones caused by inadequate sleep indicates that inflammation could be tied to cardiovascular risk.  

Caution Soccer Fans! Take a nap before binge watching World Cup matches.