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Health warning over World Cup on TV

Watching the World Cup on television could increase the risk of dying from heart disease, scientists have warned.

Every hour a day spent sitting in front of a television increases the risk of death from heart disease by a further 7% of an individual's normal risk level, a study of 13,197 healthy middle aged men and women in Norfolk has shown.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found 373 of the group - one in 35 - died from heart disease over a 10-year period.

The amount of time spent watching television was a "significant marker" of their likelihood of death from heart disease, the study found.

Researchers said an estimated 8% of these deaths, or 30 people, might have been avoided if TV viewing times had been reduced from the UK average of four hours a day to just one hour.

The calculation took into account other risk factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet.

Participants with a history of related diseases such as strokes and heart attacks were excluded from the study, and researchers measured television viewing time from questionnaires.

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