(HealthDay News) — Cumulative increases in sedentary time during growth from childhood through young adulthood are associated with progressive left ventricular structural remodeling, according to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2023, held from Aug. 25 to 28 in Amsterdam.

Andrew O. Agbaje, MD, MPH, from University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues examined the longitudinal association of cumulative sedentary time from childhood through young adulthood on structural cardiac changes during growth from adolescence through young adulthood. The analysis included 766 children (aged 11 years) from the UK Children of the 90s study who had at least two follow-up timepoints with accelerometer-measured sedentary time during 13 years of follow-up. Sedentary time was assessed at 11, 15, and 24 years. Echocardiography was done at baseline and follow-up.

The researchers found that a 1-minute increase in sedentary time from ages 11 to 24 years was associated with progressively increased changes in left ventricular mass indexed for height2.7 (effect estimate, 0.004 g/m2.7; P=.002) from ages 17 to 24 years overall and among females (effect estimate, 0.009 g/m2.7; P<.0001). Over time, there was not a significant association between cumulative sedentary time and changes in relative wall thickness in the total cohort or among males or females.

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“All those hours of screen time in young people add up to a heavier heart, which we know from studies in adults raises the likelihood of heart attack and stroke,” said Agbaje in a statement. “Children and teenagers need to move more to protect their long-term health.”

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