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Excessive TV time linked to poor heart health irrespective of genetic risk


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"Reducing time spent watching TV should be recognized as a key behavioral target for prevention of coronary heart disease, irrespective of genetic susceptibility and traditional risk markers,” said Dr. Youngwon Kim, assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong.

Excessive TV viewing time is associated with adverse levels of cholesterol and glucose in the body.

Data from white British people aged 40-69 were part of an endeavor known as the UK Biobank study.

Genetic risk of coronary heart disease for each participant, body mass index, age, sex, smoking status, diet, amount of physical activity, and level of deprivation were considered.

Compared with people who watched four or more hours of TV a day, those who watched an hour or less had a 16% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease.

While for those who watched two to three hours a day the risk was 6% lower.

Those with a higher genetic risk of coronary heart disease had a greater risk of developing the condition.

No link was found between the amount of leisure-time computer use and the risk of coronary heart disease, since snacking while watching TV or TV watching tends to be more prolonged and uninterrupted.

11% of coronary heart disease cases could be prevented if people cut their TV watching to less than an hour a day, even after accounting for genetic risk and other factors.

"Increasing activity time by replacing time spent sitting helps lower body fat levels and prevents weight gain, improves blood pressure and blood fat levels, and lowers diabetes risks," commented Naveed Sattar, Professor, Metabolic Medicine, University of Glasgow.

Research conducted by the University of Hong Kong, published in BMC Medicine.

Reducing TV time is linked to avoidance of coronary heart diseases

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Assistant Professor, Division of Kinesiology at The University of Hong Kong