Television viewing linked with increased mortality

January 01, 0001

Television viewing linked with increased mortality

There is well known evidence for the cardiovascular benefits of exercise. However, risks of specific sedentary behaviors have not been examined. These Australian researchers investigated whether television watching, the prototypical sedentary activity, was linked to mortality and cardiovascular disease. They examined television viewing time and all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality (median follow-up, 6.6 years) in 8800 adults in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab).

The researchers found: "After adjustment for age, sex, waist circumference, and exercise, the hazard ratios for each 1-hour increment in television viewing time per day were 1.11 for all-cause mortality, 1.18 for CVD mortality, and 1.09 for cancer mortality. Compared with a television viewing time of <2 h/d, the fully adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality were 1.13 for 2 to <4 h/d and 1.46 for 4 h/d. For CVD mortality, corresponding hazard ratios were 1.19 and 1.80. The associations with both cancer mortality and non-CVD/noncancer mortality were not significant."

The researchers concluded: "Television viewing time was associated with increased risk of all-cause and CVD mortality. In addition to the promotion of exercise, chronic disease prevention strategies could focus on reducing sitting time, particularly prolonged television viewing."

This important study suggests a need for reducing sedentary behavior to promote health even if cardiovascular exercise is not performed.

For the full abstract, click here.

Circulation 121:384-391, 25 January 2010
© 2010 the American Heart Association
Television Viewing Time and Mortality: The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). D.W. Dunstan, E.L.M. Barr, G.N. Healy et al. Correspondence to David Dunstan: [email protected]

Category: K. Cardiovascular. Keywords: television, sedentary behavior, cardiovascular, mortality, AusDiab, Epidemiologic study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 19 February 2010

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