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Why watching TV series and movies for hours can be fatal, warns report

Prolonged hours of television watching could increase your chances of developing potentially fatal blood clots known as venous thromboembolism (VTE).

US researchers warn that those who may try to exercise in a bid to combat the effects of prolonged hours of television watching are still at risk.

The warning was contained in a report by scientists published on February 18 in Springer’s Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis.

Dr Yasuhiko Kubota of the American University of Minnesota in the US was the lead author of the study.

“Prolonged sitting can in some cases lead to blood clots because the normal circulation of blood through the legs and feet is impaired,” said the report.

BLOOD CLOTS

One type of VTE is known as deep vein thrombosis, where the blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs. VTE can also cause another serious complication when the clots become dislodged and travel through the blood stream to block another vein in a different part of the body.

Should VTE end up in the lungs, they cause blood clots known as pulmonary embolism.

Dr Kubota and his colleagues analysed data from 15,158 Americans aged between 45 and 64.

The report echoed findings from a 2016 study carried out in Japan that showed the increased risk of suffering a VTE in connection with total time spent in front of the TV.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

The analysis of a Peru study also showed that more than two hours of television a day without physical activity was associated with poor self-rated health and poor self-reported academic performance.

This latest study is the first to focus on a Western population, who are known to be more prone to blood clotting conditions than people of Asian descent.