Perspective from Khaled Dajani, MD, MBA
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
August 19, 2021
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At least 8 hours of sedentary leisure time per day tied to stroke risk in younger adults

Perspective from Khaled Dajani, MD, MBA
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Among adults younger than 60 years with low physical activity, those who had at least 8 hours per day of sedentary leisure time had elevated risk for stroke, according to findings published in Stroke.

“Sedentary time is increasing in the United States and Canada,” Raed A. Joundi, MD, DPhil, a stroke fellow in the department of clinical neurosciences at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, said in a press release. “Sedentary time is the duration of awake activities that are done sitting or lying down. Leisure sedentary time is specific to the sedentary activities done while not at work. It is important to understand whether high amounts of sedentary time can lead to stroke in young individuals, as a stroke can cause premature death or significantly impair function and quality of life.”

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Joundi and colleagues analyzed 143,180 individuals who participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey from 2000 to 2012. During a median follow-up of 9.4 years, there were 2,965 cases of stroke (88.2% ischemic).

Participants were stratified by self-reported sedentary leisure time per day: less than 4 hours, 4 to less than 6 hours, 6 to less than 8 hours or 8 or more hours.

Risk for stroke was elevated in participants with 8 or more hours of sedentary leisure time per day compared with those with less than 4 hours per day, but only in those younger than 60 years with low amounts of physical activity (adjusted HR = 4.5; 95% CI, 1.64-12.3).

Analyses adjusting for mood disorders and accounting for competing risks for deaths did not change the results.

The survey did not include occupation-related sedentary time.

Raed A. Joundi

“Adults 60 years and younger should be aware that very high sedentary time with little time spent on physical activity can have adverse effects on health, including increased risk of stroke,” Joundi said in the release. “Physical activity has a very important role in that it reduces the actual time spent sedentary, and it also seems to diminish the negative impact of excess sedentary time. Physician recommendations and public health policies should emphasize increased physical activity and lower sedentary time among young adults in combination with other healthy habits to lower the risks of cardiovascular events and stroke.”