FRIDAY, Jan. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Prolonged television watching increases the risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online Jan. 20 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Setor K. Kunutsor, M.B.Ch.B., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies evaluating the prospective association between TV viewing and VTE risk.

Based on three unique prospective cohort studies (131,421 participants aged 40 years and older and 964 VTE events), the researchers found that prolonged TV viewing was associated with an increased VTE risk. This association was independent of age, sex, body mass index, and physical activity. Prolonged viewers (watching TV at least four hours per day) were 1.35 times more likely to develop VTE versus never/seldom viewers (watching TV <2.5 hours per day).

“Our study findings also suggested that being physically active does not eliminate the increased risk of blood clots associated with prolonged TV watching,” Kunutsor said in a statement. “If you are going to binge on TV you need to take breaks. You can stand and stretch every 30 minutes or use a stationary bike. And avoid combining television with unhealthy snacking.”

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