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Greater Time in Front of TV Linked to Higher Mortality Risk

More daily hours watching television associated with higher all-cause, CVD mortality risk

TUESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- More time spent watching television is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, according to research published online Jan. 11 in Circulation.

David W. Dunstan, Ph.D., of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues analyzed data from 8,800 adults aged 25 years and older. Subjects were followed for a median 6.6 years.

The researchers found that each one-hour increase in daily television watching time was associated with an 11- and 18-percent higher risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, respectively, after adjustment for factors including leisure-time exercise and waist circumference. In those watching four hours or more daily, these risks were 46 and 80 percent higher, respectively, compared to those watching fewer than two hours daily.

"These findings indicate that television viewing time is associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. Although continued emphasis on current public health guidelines on the importance of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise should remain, our findings suggest that reducing time spent watching television (and possibly other prolonged sedentary behaviors) may also be of benefit in preventing cardiovascular disease and premature death," the authors conclude.

The study that generated this data received financial support from pharmaceutical companies, and one of the co-authors is supported by Sanofi-Aventis.

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