Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Prolonged TV viewing associated with increased VTE risk

Television viewing and venous thrombo-embolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Literature - Kunutsor SK, Dey RS, and Laukkanen JA. - Eur J Prev Cardiol 2022;

Introduction and methods


There is an association of physical inactivity or sedentary behavior with vascular diseases, including atherosclerotic CVD [1]. It has been suggested that physical inactivity may be associated with an increased risk of venous thrombo-embolism (VTE).

A major component of leisure sedentary time is television viewing and a meta-analysis showed that is related to atherosclerotic CVD [2]. The evidence for the relationship between TV viewing and VTE risk is inconsistent and limited [3-5].

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the prospective association between TV viewing and VTE risk was examined by analysis of all published observational cohort studies conducted on this topic.

Study design

MEDLINE and Embase were searched for studies in general adult populations and with at least 1 year of follow-up. Three studies that were published between 2016-2021 were eligible for the analysis and comprised 131,421 participants [6-8]. Average follow-up ranged from 5.1 to 19.8 years. TV viewing time was assessed through self-reported questionnaires and the extreme groups (prolonged vs. never or seldom TV viewing) were used for analyses.

(Never or seldom was defined in the 3 studies as: <2 hours per day, <2.5 hours per day or ‘never or seldom’; prolonged was defined as: ≥4 hours per day, ≥5 hours per day, or ‘very often’)


Main outcome

Main outcome of interest was VTE (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism).

Main results


Prolonged TV viewing is associated with an increased VTE risk, regardless of physical activity, in a pooled analysis of observational prospective cohort studies.

‘Having frequent breaks during prolonged sedentary activities such as TV viewing might be essential for the prevention of VTE’, the authors wrote.


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Find this article online at Eur J Prev Cardiol

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