Jeannine Stein reports on an Australian study finding that each hour a day spent in front of television is linked with an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and an 11% greater risk of all causes of death, for the Los Angeles Times:
Watching television for hour upon hour obviously isn’t the best way to spend leisure time — inactivity has been linked to obesity and heart disease. But a new study quantifies TV viewing’s effect on risk of death.
Researchers found that each hour a day spent watching TV was linked with an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, an 11% greater risk of all causes of death, and a 9% increased risk of death from cancer.
The study, released Monday in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Assn., looked at health data among 8,800 men and women older than 25 who were part of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. Participants recorded their television viewing hours for a week, and researchers separated the results by amount of viewing: those who watched less than two hours of TV a day, those who watched two to four hours a day, and those who watched more than four hours a day.
The subjects also had oral glucose tolerance tests to determine blood sugar and gave blood samples to establish cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study. People with a history of cardiovascular disease were not included. In a follow up about six years later, 87 people had died due to cardiovascular disease and 125 of cancer.
Researchers found a strong connection between TV hours and death from cardiovascular disease, not just among the overweight and obese, but among people who had a healthy weight and exercised…
[continues in the Los Angeles Times]
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