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Retired NFL Players Live Longer Than Most Men, But There Are Big Issues Left To Resolve

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Player health and safety has overtaken free agency and the draft, and even the fight over the bounty scandal, as the subject du jour in the NFL. Earlier this year, the CDC released a follow up to its 1994 study of player mortality rates that revealed retired NFL players were in fact living longer than men in the general population. But that wasn't all the study found.

Because this was a study of mortality rates, a records-based study, it looked at a wide variety of causes of death, including neurological disease and suicide. They found much lower rates of death by suicide among the former players than the general population, but the opposite with neurological disease.

Neurological diseases will be the subject of an upcoming study from the same government research team. That study, currently under review, is sure to be a flash point in the debate over head trauma as it relates to the long-term health and safety of players.

It's difficult to understate the magnitude of this issue, the concussions issue.

I talked to the CDC doctor who authored the mortality study on Wednesday for this article over at SBNation.com. I encourage you to give it a read, and discuss with us in the comments over there.

As fans, it's best to start getting our heads around this issue now, because it's not going away any time soon.