Is There A Correlation Between Watching TV And The Risk Of Fatal Blood Clots?

Published on August 10th, 2016

A new study shows that the more television you watch, the greater risk of a fatal blood clot. 86,024 generally healthy individuals were studied by Japanese researchers. The participants filled out questionnaires with items about health, lifestyle, including time spent watching television.

At a follow-up 19 years after the study began, there were 59 deaths from pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that travels from another part of the body to the lungs. They discovered those who watch TV for two and a half to five hours per day, increased their risk for a fatal clot by 70 percent, those who watched TV for more than five hours per day increased their risk by 250 percent. For each extra two hours of watching, the risk of death rose by 40 percent. The effect was independent of physical exercise.

According to the Dr. Toru Shirakawa of Osaka University, television is likely to be uninterrupted and prolonged sitting increases the risk of embolism. Drinking water, taking a break, standing up, and walking around is very important.

The study in the journal Circulation is observational, so it can’t determine cause and effect. Dr. Shirakawa believes the dose-response relationship between the risk of mortality from pulmonary embolism and time spent watching TV would be strong evidence for a causal relationship.

Sources: American Heart Association and The New York Times

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