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Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Dec 1;182(11):908-16. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv164. Epub 2015 Nov 14.

Association Between Television Viewing Time and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies.


Findings on the association between television (TV) viewing and all-cause mortality in epidemiologic studies have been inconsistent. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of data from prospective cohort studies to quantify this association. Relevant articles were identified by searching MEDLINE (PubMed; National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland) and EMBASE (Elsevier B.V., Amsterdam, the Netherlands) from inception to March 1, 2015, and reviewing the reference lists of retrieved articles. Study-specific results were pooled using a random-effects model. Of 2,578 citations identified by the search strategy, 10 cohort studies (61,494 deaths among 647,475 individuals) met the inclusion criteria. The summary relative risk of all-cause mortality for the highest category of TV viewing time versus the lowest was 1.33 (95% confidence interval: 1.20, 1.47), with heterogeneity among studies (I(2) = 66.7%, P(heterogeneity) = 0.001). In dose-response meta-analysis, TV viewing time was statistically significantly associated with all-cause mortality risk in a J-shaped fashion (P(nonlinearity) = 0.001). These results indicate that prolonged TV viewing time might increase the risk of all-cause mortality. Given the high prevalence of excessive TV viewing, public health recommendations or interventions aimed at decreasing the amount of TV viewing time in modern societies are warranted.


all-cause mortality; cohort studies; dose-response analysis; meta-analysis; television viewing

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