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Sitting in front of a screen can lead to heart problems later
A recent study carried out by the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, looked at the link between screen-based entertainment time and cardiovascular events later in life. It seems that sitting in front of a screen (TV, computer games, internet etc) and viewing screen based entertainment for long periods of time can lead to heart problems later in life.
The aim of this study was to examine the independent relationships of television viewing or other screen-based entertainment (“screen time”) with all-cause mortality and clinically confirmed cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.
The study also examined the extent to which metabolic (body mass index, high-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol) and inflammatory (C-reactive protein) markers mediate the relationship between screen time and CVD events.
Using the 2003 Scottish Health Survey 4,512 respondents under the age of 35 years old were monitored until 2007 for all-cause mortality and CVD events (fatal and nonfatal combined). They were grouped into people who engaged in “screen time” for less than 2 hrs a day, 2-4 hrs a day and more than 4 hrs a day. Moderate to vigorous physical activity was also taken into account.
215 cardiovascular disease events, and
325 any-cause deaths occurred during the duration of the study.
Recreational sitting, as reflected by television/screen viewing time, is related to raised mortality and CVD risk regardless of physical activity participation.
Inflammatory and metabolic risk factors partly explain this relationship.
Exclusion of participants with CVD events in the first 2 years of follow-up and previous cancer registrations did not change these results appreciably.
Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Stamatakis E et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011 Jan 18; 57:292