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AHA: TV Linked to Adverse Cardiometabolic Risk Profile

High level of watching in young adulthood may increase heart disease risk by early middle-age

WEDNESDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Television watching during early adulthood is independently associated with metabolic and hemostatic risk factor profiles in early middle-age, according to research presented this week at the American Heart Association's joint conference of the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention and the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism, held from March 2 to 5 in San Francisco.

In 5,629 members of the 1958 British Birth Cohort, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Ph.D., of University College London, and colleagues measured weekly frequencies of television watching and exercise participation when the subjects were age 23, and measured daily television and weekly recreational moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) amounts when the subjects were 44 years of age. In the second assessment, they also measured 15 biological cardiometabolic risk factors.

The researchers found that television watching at age 23 was strongly associated with a metabolic component made up of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, body mass index, waist and blood pressure (C1), and a hemostatic/inflammatory component including fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, d-dimer and C-reactive protein (C2). They also found that the associations continued to be strong after adjusting for physical activity at ages 23 and 44, and television watching at age 44. Their sensitivity analyses showed that the trajectory of television watching had linear associations with C1 and C2 even among the 1,228 subjects who exercised at age 23 and engaged in at least 150 minutes of MVPA per week at age 44.

"Therefore, in addition to encouraging MVPA, public health guidelines may need to consider to explicitly refer to reductions of sedentary time, and TV viewing in particular," the authors conclude.

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