The risk of pulmonary embolism is higher among people who have an inactive lifestyle, a study has shown.
Those who sit down for more than 41 hours a week outside of work are two to three times more likely to develop a blood clot in their lungs than those who sit for less than 10 hours, according to the research.
The study of almost 70,000 women is believed to be the first of its kind to demonstrate a connection between a sedentary lifestyle and blood clots, which can be fatal when they travel from deep veins in the legs into the lungs.
However, the authors stressed that an inactive lifestyle posed a small risk of developing a pulmonary embolism, only slightly higher than flying long haul or taking the Pill.
British Heart Foundation senior cardiac nurse Natasha Stewart said: “Combining at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day with other healthy lifestyle choices, including staying a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking, will also help to protect you from developing circulatory disease conditions, such as pulmonary embolism, and keep you healthy.”
- Kabrhel C, et al. Physical inactivity and idiopathic pulmonary embolism in women: prospective study. BMJ 2011; Advance online publication
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