Prolonged watching of television linked to increase risk of death

Emobileclinic Researchers’ corner



Researchers in Japan have submitted that watching television for a period more than five hour daily have much greater risk of dying from a blood clot in the lung. It is a condition known as pulmonary embolism. This finding was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association known as Circulation.


A lung blood clot, known medically as a pulmonary embolism, usually begins as a clot in the leg or pelvis as a result of inactivity and slowed blood flow. If the clot breaks free, it can travel to a lung and become lodged in a small blood vessel, where it is especially dangerous. The study revealed that from 1988 to 1990, Japanese researchers asked 86,024 participants, age 40-79, the number of hours they spent watching TV. Over the next 19 years, 59 participants died of a pulmonary embolism.
Researchers found that compared to participants who watched TV less than 2.5 hours each day, deaths from a pulmonary embolism increased by: 70 percent among those who watched TV from 2.5 to 4.9 hours 40 percent for each additional 2 hours of daily TV watching; and 2.5 times among those who watched TV 5 or more hours.

According to Hiroyasu Iso, a professor of public health at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, “Pulmonary embolism occurs at a lower rate in Japan than it does in Western countries, but it may be on the rise,” He added further that “the Japanese people are increasingly adopting sedentary lifestyles, which we believe is putting them at increased risk.”
In the study, the researchers found that deaths from pulmonary embolism are believed to be underreported because diagnosis is difficult. The most common symptoms of pulmonary embolism – chest pain and shortness of breath – are the same as other life-threatening conditions, and diagnosis requires imaging that many hospitals are not equipped to provide.

See also  The risk of breast cancer reduced with these lifestyles

According to them, several factors that might have influenced their findings, including obesity, diabetes, cigarette smoking and hypertension. After the number of hours spent watching TV, obesity appeared to have the next strongest link to pulmonary embolism.
Also, Toru Shirakawa, the study first author and a research fellow in public health at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, remarked that the findings may be particularly relevant to Americans. Other studies indicate U.S. adults watch more television than Japanese adults.
Authors said people who watch a lot of TV can take several easy steps to reduce their risk of developing blood clots in their legs that may then move to their lungs. They advised that “after an hour or so, stand up, stretch, walk around, or while you are watching TV, tense and relax your leg muscles for 5 minutes”. The advice is similar to that given to travelers on long plane flights. He added that drinking water may also help and, in the long run, shedding pounds if overweight is likely to reduce risk.
The study recorded participants’ viewing habits before computers, tablets and smartphones became popular sources of information and entertainment. Authors believe new studies are needed to determine the effect of these new technologies on pulmonary embolism risk.





Medical News Today Article: Watching Television and Risk of Mortality From Pulmonary Embolism Among Japanese Men and Women, Toru Shirakawa, Hiroyasu Iso, Kazumasa Yamagishi, Hiroshi Yatsuya, Naohito Tanabe, Satoyo Ikehara, Shigekazu Ukawa and Akiko Tamakoshi, Circulation, doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.023671, published 26 July 2016.

Leave a Reply