TV watching linked with potentially fatal blood clots
Environmental and Occupational Aspects of Heart DiseaseRisk Factors and Prevention
Sophia Antipolis, 20 January 2022: Take breaks when binge-watching TV to avoid blood clots, say scientists. The warning comes as a study reports that watching TV for four hours a day or more is associated with a 35% higher risk of blood clots compared with less than 2.5 hours. The research is published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The study 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).
To conduct the study, the researchers conducted a systematic review to collect the available published evidence on the topic and then combined the results using a process called meta-analysis. “Combining multiple studies in a meta-analysis provides a larger sample and makes the results more precise and reliable than the findings of an individual study,” explained Dr. Kunutsor.
The analysis included three studies with a total of 131,421 participants aged 40 years and older without pre-existing VTE. The amount of time spent watching TV was assessed by questionnaire and participants were categorised as prolonged viewers (watching TV at least four hours per day) and never/seldom viewers (watching TV less than 2.5 hours per day).
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 analysed the relative risk of developing VTE in prolonged versus never/seldom TV watchers. They found that prolonged viewers were 1.35 times more likely to develop VTE compared to never/seldom viewers.
Release date: 20 January 2022
Source: European Society of Cardiology