Venous Thromboembolism Risk Linked to Lengthy Television Watching

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Patients are encouraged to limit their television viewing and increase their level of physical activity.
Patients are encouraged to limit their television viewing and increase their level of physical activity.

Increased frequency of television viewing may be linked to an increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to results presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, held November 11-15, 2017, in Anaheim, California.

Researchers analyzed data from 15,158 study participants enrolled in the 1987 to 1989 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study to gather information on the frequency of watching television in people aged 45 to 64 years. The study participants were followed up between 1993 and 1995 and 2009 and 2011. Participants were asked about their frequency of television viewing and responded with “never or seldom,” “sometimes,” “often,” or “very often.”

 

During the 299,767 person-year follow-up period, 691 VTE events were identified. The frequency of television watching was positively associated with VTE occurrence (P =.036). Participants who watched television “very often” had an increased risk for VTE (hazard ratio 1.71; 95% CI, 1.26-2.32) compared with participants who “never or seldom” watched television. Similar results were reported regardless of VTE subtype (provoked vs unprovoked and deep vein thrombosis vs pulmonary embolism).

The increased risk for VTE persisted in individuals who watched television “very often” but who also achieved the recommended amount of physical activity.

A higher frequency of watching television is associated with an increased risk for VTE, mediated by obesity (25% mediation effect; 95% CI, 10.7-27.5). “Avoiding frequent [television] viewing as well as increasing physical activity and controlling body weight might be beneficial for VTE prevention,” concluded the study researchers.

Reference

Kubota Y, Cushman M, Rosamond WD, Folsom AR. TV viewing and incident venous thromboembolism: the Atherosclerotic Risk in Communities Study. Presented at: AHA Scientific Sessions; November 11-15, 2017; Anaheim, CA. Abstract S5169.

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