Whether the associations of time spent in screen-based sedentary activities with CHD vary by genetic susceptibility is currently unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the interplay of genetic susceptibility to CHD and two prevalent types of screen-based sedentary activities (television [TV] viewing and computer use) for CHD incidence.
This prospective cohort study included 373,026 individuals of European ancestry without prevalent CHD/stroke from UK Biobank data. Genetic susceptibility to CHD was assessed using weighted polygenic risk scores, calculated by summing the number of risk-increasing alleles among 300 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, multiplied by their corresponding effect estimates. TV viewing and computer use were assessed through touch-screen questionnaires. CHD incidence (n=9185) was adjudicated over a median 12.6-year follow-up.
Compared with ≥4h/day of TV viewing, the hazard ratio of CHD was 0.84 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79–0.90) and 0.94 (0.90–0.99) for ≤1h/day and 2–3h/day of TV viewing, respectively, after adjusting for confounders including the genetic risk. CHD hazards were higher for medium and high genetic risk than for low genetic risk. Across all levels of genetic risk including high-genetic risk, ≤1h/day of TV viewing had lower CHD hazards, compared with ≥4h/day: no evidence of interaction between genetic risk and TV viewing (p value: 0.362). Estimates of the population attributable fraction (PAF) suggested that 10.9% (95% CI 6.1–15.3%) of CHD could be prevented if TV viewing time were reduced to ≤1h/day, assuming causality. The PAF values were relatively larger for medium-to-high genetic risk than for low genetic risk, although the CIs were wide and overlapping. No associations were observed for computer use.
Less TV viewing time was associated with lower CHD risk independently of genetic risk. Clinical trials targeted at individuals with high genetic susceptibility should consider reducing TV viewing as as a behavioural target for prevention of an early onset of cardiovascular events.