June 26, 2019
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Prolonged TV watching increases risk for CVD, mortality in black adults

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Jeanette Garcia
Jeanette Garcia

A greater risk for CVD events and all-cause mortality was seen in black adults who watched at least 4 hours of television per day, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Minimalizing television viewing may be more effective for improving health outcomes rather than reducing other types of sedentary behavior in African Americans,” Jeanette Garcia, PhD, professor of kinesiology and physical therapy at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, told Cardiology Today. “Participation in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is important as it may offset the hazardous effects of prolonged television viewing in African Americans.”

Researchers analyzed data from 3,592 black patients from the Jackson Heart Study who underwent several in-home interviews and follow-up examinations.

Information on physical activity and sedentary behavior were collected with the Jackson Heart Study Physical Activity Cohort Survey, which assessed activity such as TV viewing, occupational sitting and leisure-time moderate-vigorous physical activity in the past 12 months.

The primary outcome of interest was a composite endpoint of CVD events, defined as stroke or CHD, and all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes of interest were each type of event included in the primary outcome of interest.

Of the patients in the study, 32.7% reported watching less than 2 hours of TV per day, 36.3% reported between 2 and 4 hours per day and 31% reported watching at least 4 hours of TV per day. Regarding occupational sitting, 28% reported never or seldom sitting, 28.8% reported sometimes sitting and 43.2% reported often or always sitting.

A greater risk for CVD events and all-cause mortality was seen in black adults who watched at least 4 hours of television per day, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
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During a median follow-up of 8.4 years, there were 205 deaths and 129 CVD events.

Patients who reported watching at least 4 hours of TV per day had a greater risk for the primary outcome of interest compared with those who reported watching less than 2 hours of TV per day (HR = 1.49; 95% CI, 1.13-1.97). Patients who reported often or always sitting at work did not have an increased risk for the primary outcome of interest vs. those who reported never or seldom sitting at work (HR = 0.9; 95% CI, 0.69-1.18).

“Although I'm not suggesting that there are absolutely no health risks associated with lots of sitting at work, the results from our study indicate that maybe we should consider focusing on interventions that break up or reduce television viewing at home,” Garcia said in an interview.

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A greater risk for CVD events and all-cause mortality was seen in black adults who watched at least 4 hours of television per day.

The link between TV viewing and the risk for CVD events and all-cause mortality was mediated with moderate-vigorous physical activity.

“I would encourage cardiologists to tell their patients to replace 30 minutes of TV watching with a 30-minute walk around with their neighbor,” Garcia told Cardiology Today. “This one swap could change a person’s risk for heart disease and death.” – by Darlene Dobkowski

For more information:

Jeanette Garcia, PhD, can be reached at University of Central Florida, 12494 University Blvd., ED 320Q, Orlando, FL 32816; email: jeanette.garcia@ucf.edu.

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.