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Asthma risk linked to TV

3rd March 2009

A study has found that young children who watch more than two hours of television a day double their risk of developing asthma.


However, researchers believe it is more the sedentary lifestyle connected with sitting in front of a TV screen than the equipment itself.

More than 3,000 children in the UK were followed from birth to the age of 11 for the study published in the journal Thorax.

Parents were questioned on symptoms of wheezing and whether asthma had been diagnosed as well as their child’s TV viewing habits.

While all children were free of wheeze when they were toddlers, some 6% had developed asthma by the age of 11, with those who watched TV for more than two hours a day most likely to have the condition.

Of the children with asthma, 2% did not watch TV, 20% watched TV daily for less than an hour, 34% watched 1-2 hours a day and 44% watched more than two hours daily.

One of the report’s authors Dr James Paton, from the University of Glasgow, said: "We think the problem is inactivity, not watching TV. TV is simply the best proxy marker for this. There may be a window in early in life when activity does something to protect the lungs.

"It may be that not sitting still makes you take deep breaths and that might be important in the long run."

Asthma UK said the findings added to evidence linking a lack of exercise and being overweight with an increased risk of asthma.


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Article Information

Title: Asthma risk linked to TV
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 10426
Date Added: 3rd Mar 2009


BBC News
The Independent

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