Pulmonary embolisms may be related to sitting around

Jul 28, 2011

Too much sitting may lead to pulmonary embolism

Women who spend more than 40 hours per week sitting may be significantly more at risk for developing a pulmonary embolism, an analysis of the Nurses' Health Study showed. Physical inactivity may be associated with double the risk of this potentially deadly health issue.

Researchers believe that the public health implications they discovered may be potentially profound. Americans are leading increasingly inactive lifestyles and that could be directly related to the high prevalence of pulmonary embolisms and a possible increase in life insurance claims.

Prior studies on the correlation between the two have resulted in mixed results, according to MedPage Today. In an effort to find more reliable results, the experts spent almost 20 years analyzing data from more than 69,950 nurses. During the course of the study there were 268 incident cases of pulmonary embolism.

"Whether travel and prolonged sitting had anything to do with it is not clear, but because a mounting body of evidence pointing to the fact that it may be, it is recommended that one take a baby aspirin before long-haul travels described as lasting more than eight hours," Dr. Furqan Tejani, director of advanced cardiovascular imaging the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in New York City, said. 

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