Watching too much TV greatly increases the risk of developing blood clots

Watching television for more than four hours a day (daily) increases the risk of blood clots in the veins by 35%.

Watching television for many hours greatly increases the risk of blood clots (thrombus) forming in the veins, a condition called venous thromboembolism (VTE) which results in two conditions: deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). ). This risk is independent of age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and even physical activity, it would also be catalyzed by the consumption of junk food that often accompanies the “marathons” behind the movies and TV series episodes. The recommendation of experts is therefore to get up and move after a while, without standing still for hours. It is also advisable not to eat unhealthy snacks.

An international research team led by scientists from the National Institute for Health Research Bristol Biomedical Research Center at the University of Bristol has determined that so-called ‘binge-watching’ increases the risk of blood clots in the UK, which has worked closely with colleagues in the UK. the Department of Medicine of the University Hospital of Ghana and the Department of Medicine of the Central Finland Health District of Jyväskylä. The researchers, led by Professor Setore K. Kunutsor, reached their conclusions after conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of data from three studies involving more than 130,000 participants. They were all aged 40 or older and had no previous diagnosis of venous thromboembolism.

The scientists divided the participants into two main groups: frequent viewers, meaning those who watched at least four hours of television per day, and sporadic/never viewers, who spent a maximum of 2.5 hours per day. in front of the television screen. During the follow-up period, which lasted from about 5 to just under 20 years, 964 participants developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), the two “branches” of thromboembolism vein (VTE). The first condition is characterized by total or partial obstruction of one or more deep veins in the limbs, abdomen or pelvis (rarely in the arms); the second is the occlusion of the pulmonary arteries caused by blood clots from other areas of the body, mainly from the large veins of the legs or pelvis. By analyzing the incidence of VTE in the two groups, Professor Kunutsor and his colleagues determined that those who watched too much television had a 35% higher risk of developing the disease.

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“The results indicate that regardless of your physical activity, BMI, age and gender, watching long hours of television is a risky activity when it comes to developing blood clots,” said the lead author of the study in a statement. Press release. Experts point out that these were observational studies, so there is no causal relationship between staring at the TV (or computer) screen and the development of thrombus. However, “prolonged television viewing involves immobilization which is a risk factor for VTE”, explains Professor Kunutsor. “That’s why people are encouraged to move around after surgery or on a long-haul flight. Also, when you sit in a cramped position for long periods of time, blood pools in the extremities instead of flowing, which can cause blood clots. Finally, binge-watchers tend to eat unhealthy snacks which can lead to obesity and hypertension, two factors that increase the likelihood of blood clots,” commented the scientist.

The recommendation of the experts is therefore to limit the time we spend on television. If, on the other hand, you have to stare at a screen for many hours (for work, for example), the advice is to get up and walk from time to time to keep the circulation active. Details of the research “Television and venous thromboembolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis” have been published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

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