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How too much TV could kill you

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A new study finds that watching too much TV can increase the risk of venous thromboembolism, a condition characterized by potentially fatal blood clots.

Watching too much TV could raise the risk of potentially fatal blood clots, say researchers.

VTE can come in two different forms: deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in deep veins, most commonly in those of the legs. PE arises when a blood clot breaks away from the deep veins and moves to the lungs, where it can block the artery that supplies blood to the organs.

So, how can something as simple as watching TV lead to such a deadly condition? Well, one of the major risk factors for VTE is reduced blood flow, which can be caused by sitting for long periods of time. And if binge-watching boxsets for hours on end doesn’t fall into this category, I don’t know what does.

In 2016, a study published in the journal Circulation associated too much time in front of the TV with a greater risk of PE in men from Japan.

For the new research, Yasuhiko Kubota — of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis — and colleagues wanted to find out whether watching TV could pose the same risk for adults in the U.S.

“VTE incidence is higher in Western populations than in Asian populations,” the researchers say, “and thus, there may be a great deal of relevance to a study of TV viewing and VTE in Western populations.”

Kubota and colleagues used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study to reach their findings, which they recently published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis.

Researchers reveal how too much TV may raise the risk of walking problems for older adults.

“These results suggest that even individuals who regularly engage in physical activity should not ignore the potential harms of prolonged sedentary behaviors such as TV viewing.”

“Avoiding frequent TV viewing, increasing physical activity, and controlling body weight might be beneficial to prevent VTE,” he concludes.


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DVTYasuhiko Kubota
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