Too much TV, computer screen time can up high BP risk in kids

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, Aug 4 (ANI): Sedentary behaviours such as watching TV and use of computers, videos and video games are likely to increase the risk of high blood pressure in children, finds a new study.

"The clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors in overweight youth suggests that risks may be immediate and not just indicative of potential future problems," wrote the authors.

Although elevated blood pressure is associated with genetic factors, healthy physical, dietary and sleep habits seem to be relevant contributors to blood pressure levels in children.

During the study, lead researcher David Martinez-Gomez, B.Sc., of Iowa State University, Ames, and the Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, Spain examined associations between sedentary behaviour and elevated blood pressure in 111 young children.

Sedentary behaviour was determined by an accelerometer generally worn over the right hip and by parental reports stating the average time the children spent watching TV, playing video games, painting, sitting or taking part in other activities with low levels of physical activity each day for seven days.

The children's average sedentary time and screen time per day were five hours and 1.5 hours, respectively.

"Sedentary activity was not significantly related to systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure after controlling for age, sex, height and percentage of body fat," wrote the authors.

However, TV viewing and screen time, but not computer use, were positively associated with both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure after adjusting for potential confounders," they added.

"Participants in the lowest tertile [one-third] of TV and screen time had significantly lower levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure than participants in the upper tertile," said authors.

"In conclusion, the results of this study showed that TV viewing and screen time were associated with elevated blood pressure independent of body composition in children.

"Given that total objective sedentary time was not associated with elevated blood pressure, it appears that other factors, which occur during excessive screen time, should also be considered in the context of sedentary behavior and elevated blood pressure development in children," they added.

The study appears in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (ANI)

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