Binge-watching may lead to increased risk of blood clots, research says

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What is your love of binge-watching doing to your health?

Researchers are trying to answer that question with data from recent and previous studies.

A retrospective study from the University of Minnesota and published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in 2018, analyzed research and reinforced studies that show watching too much TV can increase your risk of developing a deadly blot clot. The study included more than 15,000 people divided into several groups based on how much TV they watch.

The data was collected for a span of 24 years.

The group that said it watches TV “very often” had a nearly 2 percent higher risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis, clots in your legs or pulmonary embolisms which can potentially be fatal.

Dr. Matthew Selmon an interventional cardiologist at the Heart Hospital of Austin and the medical director of the Vein Center of Austin Heart  looked over the study and is not surprised by the findings.

He says a blood clot can arise when you sit for too long, weather that’s binge-watching or not. Selmon says to do everything in moderation — which by definition is the opposite of binge-watching.

Selmon says if you must, that you should get up and move around every 30 minutes to an hour. He says that anything that creates a slow flow in the veins — such as binge-watching — will increase your risk of getting clots.

How long is too long to sit and watch TV?

“There’s really no clear definition of binge-watching,” says Selmon. “I think with streaming TV these days people have a tendency of sitting and not moving very much and watching TV and doing other unhealthy things —snacking — it interrupts their sleep pattern, so there are a lot of unhealthy issues to what we all consider is binge-watching.”

As for whom is most at risk, Selmon says that young people who binge-watch occasionally aren’t particularly at risk. According to the doctor, the group at greatest risk for blood clots is those over the age of 60 years old.

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