A football fan in China has died of a stroke that doctors believe was brought on by him staying awake for three successive nights to watch the World Cup.
Zhou Meng, a 39-year-old from Shanghai, collapsed on his sofa after suffering a stroke while watching the Saturday night match between Uruguay and Costa Rica.
He had previously stayed up for the whole of Thursday and Friday night to watch live coverage of the tournament – which is being held in Brazil – while working during the daytime.
Mr Zhou collapsed on the sofa in his living room while watching the match on Saturday.
He was rushed to the Shanghai No. 10 People’s Hospital after suffering a stroke and was pronounced dead several hours later.
According to Gao Liang, director of the hospital’s neurosurgery department, the patient had a history of high blood pressure.
Mr Gao said people with high blood pressure and heart conditions are more vulnerable to brain haemorrhages when events make them excited or emotional. Unfortunately Mr Zhou wasn’t the only person to suffer serious health complaints after watching coverage of the World Cup.
Shanghai’s hospitals reported an larger number of emergency cases than usual last weekend – the first weekend of the World Cup.
These included football fans feeling the effects of staying up late and sacrificing sleep to watch the tournament.
According to an accident and emergency doctor at the Huashan Hospital, they saw the number of patients increase by 50 percent over the weekend.
Some 40 per cent had respiratory or stomach problems, often caused by irregular eating and sleeping patterns.
The 11-hour time difference between China and Brazil means 2014 FIFA World Cup matches are kicking off at unsociable hours for China’s football fans.
Most group games start at midnight, 3am, 4am and 6am, leaving Chinese fans struggling to balance their football fix with their daily routine.
‘I’ve been watching games every day for the past three days, mostly the 3am and 6am games,’ said Liu Yitao, a 29-year-old officer worker.
Liu admitted that by yesterday he was feeling tired at work and now plans only to watch live coverage of group stage matches at weekends.
On Saturday a 50-year-old man – who is said to have stayed up all night watching football – and four passengers in his vehicle died after colliding with a bus in a tunnel in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province.
And the cities Suzhou and Dalian have both also reported different cases of football fans dying while watching World Cup matches.