Is TV Watching Associated with Increased Risk for Venous Thromboembolism?

Brady L. Stein, MD, MHS, reviewing 

In a cohort study of adults, neither moderate nor heavy television viewing was associated with increased risk for VTE.

A sedentary lifestyle has been implicated as a potential risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE). To address the association between television viewing and VTE risk, investigators utilized data from a racially and geographically diverse U.S. cohort.

Of 20,322 adults included in the study, 50% reported moderate (2–4 hours per day) television viewing and 30% reported heavy (≥4 hours per day) viewing. There were 214 VTE events during a median follow-up of 5 years.

Key findings include:


The crude VTE incidence rate was 2.22 events per 1000 patient-years (light viewing, 2.16; moderate viewing, 2.07; heavy viewing, 2.49).

Although heavy-television viewers had higher rates of baseline VTE risk factors (obesity, poor physical activity, increased C-reactive protein), there were no associations between moderate or heavy television viewing and VTE risk.

There was no difference in VTE rates when categories of television viewing were stratified by level of physical activity.

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