Not to make light of what is a serious matter, both for the future of the league and its players, but were any of these players cat-lovers?What does being a "cat lady" and committing suicide have in common? The results of a[URL="http://www.examiner.com/topic/denmark"]Denmark[/URL][URL="http://www.examiner.com/topic/study"]study[/URL] on T. gondii (from parasite infection) shows that women who keep feline friends later in life are more likely to kill themselves or make an attempt.
Monday, the [URL="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9371006/Cat-ladies-more-likely-to-commit-suicide-scientists-claim.html"]Telegraph [/URL]reported that a group of researchers in Denmark followed 45,000 women over a period of time to see if there was a relationship with T.gondii or Toxoplasma gondii and increased rates of suicide among "cat ladies."
Surprisingly, the results showed that women who were infected with the parasite were more likely to have mental disorders that could lead to more cases of self-inflicted death. What's more, the largest number of cases involved women who owned cats in their homes.
T.gondii lives naturally in the environment, and it is believed that at least one-third of the world's population is infected. However, many people live without symptoms. It's the ones that do that are worrying scientists.
"About one million people commit suicide and another 10 million attempt suicide worldwide each year. We hope that this type of research will one day help us find ways to save many lives that now end prematurely in suicide," said Doctor Albert Reece, vice president of medical affairs at the University of Maryland.Researchers believe that "cat ladies" are one-and-a-half more times likely to commit suicide than those who are not cat owners. The rates go up from there especially if they have more infection with T.gondii.
The parasite hides within the cells of muscles and the brain and is usually passed on to humans from cat litter, as it thrives in their feces. However, it can also be spread from human to human by sharing contaminated cooking utensils, dishes and from failure to wash one's hands.
Other things may be responsible for the increased number of women trying to kill themselves. Maybe cat ladies have a mental disorder and are likely to turn to cats for companionship. And because the animals usually are carriers of the parasite, the results are distorted. As such, more research is needed before a definite conclusion is drawn. Nonetheless, cat lovers, beware.