Sleep duration and TV viewing time linked to higher death risk, especially in poorer areas

People living in deprived areas are more vulnerable to the effects of unhealthy lifestyles, including previously unrecognised risk factors such as short or long sleep duration and long TV viewing time.

In a new study led by the University of Glasgow and published today in The Lancet Public Health , researchers have shown that the association between an unhealthy lifestyle and death is stronger in the more deprived groups.

The study analysed data from 328,594 adult participants’ in UK Biobank, to examine the effects of previously-studied unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, alcohol, diet and a lack of physical activity alongside newer risk factors of sleep duration and TV viewing time.

The researchers found that these unhealthy behaviours were associated with cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality and that those living in areas of deprivation were at even greater risk of harm compared with people in more affluent areas. This suggests deprived populations are more vulnerable to the effects of a wider range of unhealthy lifestyle factors than previously recognised.