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Too Much Sitting May Double Women's Risk of Blood Clots
Date:7/5/2011

TUESDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women who sit for long periods of time on a regular basis have a two- to threefold increased risk of developing a potentially deadly blood clot in their lungs, a new study finds.

The researchers said their study is the first to prove that an inactive lifestyle increases the risk of developing a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when part or all of a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the legs travels through the bloodstream to the lungs.

Sudden shortness of breath, severe chest pain and coughing that may produce blood are among the symptoms of pulmonary embolism, in addition to excessive sweating, fainting and weak pulse.

The new study included 69,950 female nurses who were followed for 18 years and every two years provided details about their lifestyle habits. Women who spent most of their time sitting (more than 41 hours a week outside of work) were two times more likely to develop a pulmonary embolism than those who spent the least time sitting (less than 10 hours a week outside of work).

The link between levels of physical activity and pulmonary embolism risk remained conclusive after accounting for such factors as age, smoking and body mass index (a measurement based on height and weight), the researchers said.

The investigators also found an association between physical inactivity and high blood pressure and heart disease, which suggests that physical inactivity could be one of the hidden mechanisms that connect arterial disease and venous disease.

Public health campaigns that encourage people to be physically active could reduce the incidence of pulmonary embolism, concluded study author Dr. Christopher Kabrhel, attending physician in the emergency medicine department at Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues, in a statement.

Their study was published online July 4 in the BMJ.

The findings reinforce "the notion that prolonge
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