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Kids TV time and asthma in childhood

The more time preschoolers spend watching television, the more likely they are to develop asthma a few years later.

Kids TV time and asthma in childhood

The more time preschoolers spend watching television, the more likely they are to develop asthma a few years later. Researchers from America studied data on more than 3000 children who had no symptoms of wheezing during their first 3.5 years of life and who had follow-up data available at 11.5 years of age. At that point, it was found that 6 percent of the children had asthma, with no great difference between boys and girls. The researchers used TV viewing as a proxy measure of sedentary behaviour. There has been a recent suggestion that breathing patterns associated with sedentary behaviour could lead to developmental changes in the lungs and wheezing illnesses in children. As the duration of TV viewing per day increased, the prevalence of asthma at 11.5 years of age increased. Specifically, kids who watched TV more than 2 hours per day were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with asthma by 11.5 years of age as children who spent less time in front of the TV. The association was not affected by how sedentary the children were at the age of 11 years. The researchers suggested that the role of habitual physical activity levels in the inception and natural history of asthma in children deserves further study.
Thorax
April 2009
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