Too much TV, 4 hours in a row, increases the risk of thrombosis – What research has revealed


It is a good idea not to watch TV for many hours in a row, but to take breaks from time to time in order to avoid a potentially dangerous – even fatal – thrombosis. A new British scientific study has found that watching TV for more than four consecutive hours is associated with a 35% higher risk of blood clots, compared to watching less than two and a half hours.

The researchers, led by Dr. Sector Kunoutsor of the University of Bristol, who published the study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, analyzed data (meta-analysis) of three studies involving 13 over 40 years of age, without a history of venous thrombosis. Participants were followed for five to 20 years, during which 964 were diagnosed with venous thromboembolism.

The formation of a blood clot in a vein, mainly in the leg, is called deep vein thrombosis. When the clot reaches the lungs through the bloodstream and settles in the pulmonary artery, then a pulmonary embolism is caused. Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism together constitute venous thromboembolic disease or venous thromboembolism, a potentially fatal disease that is a common cause of cardiovascular death worldwide. Because it has no typical symptoms, it is difficult to diagnose and thus has been underestimated, even by the medical community. It is estimated that every year it causes about 50,000 deaths in Greece and 500,000 in Europe.

The British study concluded that those who “hang out” on TV, on average 1.35 times more likely to develop a thromboembolism, than those who rarely watch TV or never. “Our findings also show that being physically active does not eliminate the increased risk of blood clots associated with prolonged television viewing. If you are going to watch a lot of TV, at least do it with breaks in between. Get up and stretch every 30 minutes or do another exercise. “And avoid combining television with unhealthy snacks.”

“Regardless of your physical activity, your weight, your age and your gender, watching many hours of television is a dangerous activity in terms of developing blood clots. Immobility is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism, which is why people are encouraged to move after surgery or a long flight. Especially when one sits folded for hours, blood collects in the extremities instead of circulating and this can cause blood clots. “In fact, if one tends to eat unhealthy snacks in front of the TV, it can lead to obesity and hypertension, two factors that increase the chance of blood clots,” he added.

The researchers conclude that “we need to limit the amount of time we spend in front of the television. Prolonged follow-up periods should be interrupted at intervals of mobility so that blood circulation continues. This is especially true for those who lead a sedentary life in general in their daily lives, for example those who work long hours at a computer. “They have to get up from time to time and move.”

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