Could Watching TV Lead to Lung Cancer?

Date:30-05-2013 07:50:05 read:2

The new cancer stick.

Can too much TV damage your lungs? In a new Japanese study, guys who watched more than 4 hours of TV a day had a 36 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer in a 15-year period than men who logged less than 2 hours daily.

But a closer look at the numbers reveals this: Out of 23,000 men, only 598—or 2.6 percent—were diagnosed with the disease. And of those men, 79 spent less than 2 hours in front of their TV sets, while 163 guys hit the 4-hour mark. (The rest watched 2 to less than 4 hours of TV time.)

A stat that small shouldn’t prompt you to cancel your cable subscription. But it does bring about a bigger message: A sedentary life often means a shorter one.

All those hours on the couch increase your blood levels of inflammatory chemicals that boost lung-cancer risk, says study author Akiko Tamakoshi, M.D., Ph.D. What’s more, sedentary guys have higher blood glucose and insulin levels, metabolic dysfunctions that can interfere with cells’ normal growth and turn them malignant.

“TV viewing time has been shown to be a risk factor for not only lung cancer but cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer,” Dr. Tamakoshi says. Frequent trips to the kitchen won’t hurt, though—as long as you choose the right snack. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may result in a 23-percent decrease in lung cancer risk, according to a study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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