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Each Hour of Sedentary Time Linked to Increased Coronary Artery Calcium

April 27, 2016

Coronary Artery

Coronary ArteryOne reason being sedentary is so bad for health may be that it promotes “hardening” of the arteries with calcified deposits, a new U.S. study suggests.

Research with middle-aged volunteers found that each additional hour of sedentary time was linked to 12 percent higher odds of having calcium buildup in the coronary arteries, an early sign of coronary heart disease.

“This is one of the first studies to help tease out the ways in which sedentary time relates to heart disease risk, by evaluating this early marker of atherosclerosis in the heart arteries,” said study coauthor Julia Kozlitina of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The researchers analyzed data on more than 2,000 participants in the Dallas Heart Study who had measures of physical activity based on wearable tracking devices and had coronary artery calcium scans.

Participants’ average age was 50 years old and about half were black. Overall, the volunteers spent between one hour and 11 hours per day sedentary, and spent between zero and 200 minutes a day doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, with an average of 29 minutes.

About one-quarter of people in the sample had some detectable coronary artery calcium, Kozlitina said.

Participants who were the most sedentary tended to be older, to have diabetes, high blood pressure and higher body mass index. They also were more likely to have coronary calcium, the study team reports in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Accounting for age and other factors, the researchers linked extra hours of sedentary time to higher risk of having coronary artery calcium. Time spent exercising was not tied to the likelihood of coronary calcium, however.

A single week of physical activity monitoring may not be representative of lifetime exercise habits, and can’t necessarily prove that being sedentary causes coronary artery calcium to accumulate, only that the two factors are linked, the authors point out.

Read More – Source: Sedentary time tied to coronary artery calcium | Reuters

SOURCE: Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging, online April 13, 2016.

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