Study says binge watching TV increases heart health risks more than a desk job for African Americans

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Put the remote down, and back away from the new Stranger Things season on Netflix.

New research from the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association /American Stroke Association says that watching more than four hours of television every day could increase the risk of heart disease and premature death by 50 percent in African American people.

“African Americans experience disproportionately high rates of heart disease and stroke and face a greater risk for cardiovascular disease at all ages of life, as well as a lower life expectancy by about five years compared with whites,” the study said. “Growing evidence has also demonstrated that sedentary behavior is linked to several heart disease and stroke risk factors including high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

To gather data, researchers reviewed information about 3,592 adults enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study, an on-going community-based study following African Americans living in Jackson, Mississippi.

Television habits, hours spent sitting at a desk and exercise were self-reported. During a follow-up period of more than eight years, there were 129 cardiovascular disease events, such as heart attacks, and 205 deaths.

In the study, researchers saw that the link between TV habits and heart disease was not found in African Americans who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity 150 minutes per week, the current national recommendations for physical activity, suggesting that exercise could offset the risks from TV viewing.

“Researchers said TV watching is likely harmful for any racial or ethnic group, and they plan to further study why TV watching may be a more harmful sedentary behavior, ” the study said

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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