Study: Binge-watching could be deadly

WASHINGTON — With all the heat and humidity out there in the D.C. area, an afternoon or evening in air-conditioned comfort in front of the TV can seem really inviting. But new research shows you might want to keep that binge-watching in check.

Researchers in Japan say people who engage in excessive TV watching are far more likely to die from a blood clot in the lung, and the longer you sit, the higher the risk.

They followed more than 85,000 Japanese adults for decades, starting in the late 1980s. Those who watched five hours or more of television each day were twice as likely to eventually die from a pulmonary embolism than those who spent half the time in front of the TV.

Pulmonary embolisms usually begin in a leg or hip area as a result of inactivity and slowed blood flow. If the clot breaks free, it can eventually clog a blood vessel in the lung.

There are more than 200,000 cases of pulmonary embolism in the United States each year, according to government data. There are far fewer in Japan, but the researchers in this study say they fear the number will rise as the Japanese people become more sedentary.

And, while there have been studies done on the risk of pulmonary embolisms in travelers, they say this is the first to look at a possible connection between the amount of time spent watching television and the risk of death from a blood clot in the lung.

The results were published in the journal Circulation.

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