Cut Your TV Time to Prevent Blood Clots
A recent study showed that those who watch five hours or more of TV per day had a higher risk of dying from a blood clot. Taking breaks for movement is important prevention.
You might want to rethink binge watching your favorite TV show. A study out of Osaka University in Japan recently found that people whose average television viewing time was more than five hours per day had twice the risk of fatal pulmonary embolism from leg deep vein thrombosis (DVT) than those who watched an average of less than two and a half hours.
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More bad news, in people under 60, watching television more than five hours per day was associated with a six-fold risk of death from pulmonary embolism compared to watching less than two and a half hours.
Reported at the European Society of Cardiology meeting, this was the first study to examine the connection between prolonged television viewing and pulmonary embolism, blood clots typically formed in the legs that travel to the lungs and block blood flow, sometimes fatally.
Vascular medicine specialist Marcelo Gomes, MD, notes that the risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism is a well known in other instances of prolonged sitting or reclining, such as in a hospital after surgery, or on a long car drive or flight. The custom availability of television media now presents another high-risk situation deserving broader awareness.
“In an era where ‘movie marathons’ or ‘TV marathons’ are becoming more commonly seen, when people either go to a movie theater or sit at home watching an entire nine-hour-long movie trilogy or entire seasons of their favorite TV shows in one sitting, and when ‘binge videogaming’ is seen with increasing frequency by pediatricians and family practitioners, this study brings attention to the fact that engaging in such activities for prolonged periods of time can increase one’s risk of suffering a leg DVT or pulmonary embolism,” says Dr. Gomes. He also notes that long videogame or computer surfing have been documented to up the risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism for teens and young adults.
Dr. Gomes offers tips to help you stay safe during your next movie marathon:
Moderation is best, but if you must binge watch, follow these tips to help avoid a potentially serious pulmonary embolism.