Washington DC: Couch potatoes, you may want to lessen your TV-time as a team of researchers has linked prolonged TV viewing to 8 leading causes of death in the US.
On average, 80 percent of American adults watch 3.5 hours of television per day and multiple observational studies have demonstrated a link between TV viewing and poorer health.
The investigators reported an association between increasing hours of television viewing per day and increasing risk of death from most of the major causes of death in the United States.
Previous studies had reported a relationship between TV viewing and elevated risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. In this study, researchers at the National Cancer Institute looked at more than 221,000 individuals aged 50-71 years old who were free of chronic disease at study entry.
They confirmed the association for higher mortality risk from cancer and heart disease. In addition, they identified new associations with higher risk of death from most of the leading causes of death in the U.S., such as, diabetes, influenza/pneumonia, Parkinson's disease, and liver disease.
The results fit within a growing body of research, indicating that too much sitting can have many different adverse health effects, explained lead investigator Sarah K. Keadle.
Keadle cautioned that although each of the associations observed have plausible biological mechanisms, several associations are being reported for the first time and additional research is needed to replicate these findings and to understand the associations more completely.
The study appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.