Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots

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If the blood clot is left untreated, it can cause lasting damage to various organs. Some even become dislodged and cut off blood supply to the lungs leading to


Age, physical fitness, and existing health conditions, especially heart disease and high blood pressure are the common risk factors for blood clot formation.

Prolonged TV Watching Increases Blood Clot Risk

A new study examined the association between television viewing and venous thromboembolism (VTE). It includes pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein, usually the legs, which can travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism).

For the study, researchers conducted a systematic review to collect the available evidence on the topic and then combined the results using a process called a meta-analysis.

Multiple studies are combined in a meta-analysis for a larger sample and to make the results more precise and reliable than the findings of an individual study. The analysis included three studies with a total of 131,421 participants aged 40 years and older without pre-existing VTE.

The amount of time spent watching TV was assessed by questionnaire and they were categorized as binge viewers (watching TV at least 4 hours per day) and never/seldom viewers (watching TV less than 2.5 hours per day).

During the average duration of follow-up ranged from 5.1 to 19.8 years, 964 participants developed VTE. Researchers then analyzed the relative risk of developing VTE in binge versus never/seldom TV watchers.

They found that participants who watched television for more than 4 hours were 1.35 times more likely to develop VTE compared to never/seldom viewers. The link was independent of age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity.

These findings indicate that regardless of how physically active you are, watching television for many hours is considered a risky activity for developing blood clots.

Researchers also noted that the findings are based on observational studies and do not prove that extended television watching causes blood clots.

The possible reason for this relationship is that prolonged television viewing involves immobilization, a risk factor for VTE.

In addition to this, sitting in a cramped position for long periods causes pooling of blood to occur in extremities rather than vigorous circulation.

Binge-watchers also tend to eat unhealthy snacks which may lead to obesity and high blood pressure increasing the likelihood of blood clots.

This study results suggest that limiting the time spent in front of the television along with stretching for every 30 minutes and cutting down on unhealthy snacking can reduce the risk of fatal blood clot formation.

References :

  1. Binge-watching TV increases likelihood of blood clots by 35% – (
  2. Blood Clots – (
  3. Understand Your Risk for Excessive Blood Clotting – (

Source: Medindia

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