TV watching linked to fatal blood clots, study finds

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In a new study from the University of Bristol, researchers found that watching TV for four hours a day or more is linked to a 35% higher risk of blood clots compared with less than 2.5 hours.

The findings also suggested that being physically active does not eliminate the increased risk of blood clots linked to prolonged TV watching.

The team says people can stand and stretch every 30 minutes or use a stationary bike. And avoid combining television with unhealthy snacking.

In the study, the team examined the association between TV viewing and venous thromboembolism (VTE).

VTE includes pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) and deep vein thrombosis(blood clot in a deep vein, usually the legs, which can travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism).

They conducted a systematic review to collect the available published evidence on the topic and then combined the results using a process called meta-analysis.

The analysis included three studies with a total of 131,421 participants aged 40 years and older without pre-existing VTE.

The average duration of follow-up in the three studies ranged from 5.1 to 19.8 years. During this period, 964 participants developed VTE.

The researchers found that prolonged viewers were 1.35 times more likely to develop VTE compared to never/seldom viewers.

The association was independent of age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and physical activity.

The findings indicate that regardless of physical activity, your BMI, how old you are and your gender, watching many hours of television is a risky activity with regards to developing blood clots.

The team says prolonged TV viewing involves immobilization which is a risk factor for VTE. This is why people are encouraged to move around after surgery or during a long-haul flight.

In addition, when you sit in a cramped position for long periods, blood pools in your extremities rather than circulating and this can cause blood clots.

Finally, binge-watchers tend to eat unhealthy snacks which may lead to obesity and high blood pressure which both raise the likelihood of blood clots.

If you care about wellness, please read study that sitting too much can harm your mental health, and vitamin D level strongly linked to your future health risks and death.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that drinking too much coffee may damage your bone health, and results showing that your artery health may predict Alzheimer’s disease.

The study is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. One author of the study is Dr. Setor Kunutsor.

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