Association of sitting time with mortality and cardiovascular events in high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries
Li S, Lear SA, Rangarajan S, et al. Association of Sitting Time With Mortality and Cardiovascular Events in High-Income, Middle-Income, and Low-Income Countries. JAMA Cardiol. 2022;7(8):796-807. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2022.1581
Importance: High amounts of sitting time are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality in high-income countries, but it is unknown whether risks also increase in low- and middle-income countries.
Objective: To investigate the association of sitting time with mortality and major CVD in countries at different economic levels using data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study.
Design, setting, and participants: This population-based cohort study included participants aged 35 to 70 years recruited from January 1, 2003, and followed up until August 31, 2021, in 21 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries with a median follow-up of 11.1 years.
Exposures: Daily sitting time measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.
Main outcomes and measures: The composite of all-cause mortality and major CVD (defined as cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or heart failure).
Results: Of 105 677 participants, 61 925 (58.6%) were women, and the mean (SD) age was 50.4 (9.6) years. During a median follow-up of 11.1 (IQR, 8.6-12.2) years, 6233 deaths and 5696 major cardiovascular events (2349 myocardial infarctions, 2966 strokes, 671 heart failure, and 1792 cardiovascular deaths) were documented. Compared with the reference group (sitting), higher sitting time (≥8 hours per day) was associated with an increased risk of the composite outcome (hazard ratio [HR], 1.19; 95% CI, 1.11-1.28; Pfor trend < .001), all-cause mortality (HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.10-1.31; Pfor trend < .001), and major CVD (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.10-1.34; Pfor trend < .001). When stratified by country income levels, the association of sitting time with the composite outcome was stronger in low-income and lower-middle-income countries (≥8 hours per day: HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.16-1.44) compared with high-income and upper-middle-income countries (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.98-1.19; P for interaction = .02). Compared with those who reported sitting time less than 4 hours per day and high physical activity level, participants who sat for 8 or more hours per day experienced a 17% to 50% higher associated risk of the composite outcome across physical activity levels; and the risk was attenuated along with increased physical activity levels.
Conclusions and relevance: High amounts of sitting time were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality and CVD in economically diverse settings, especially in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Reducing sedentary time along with increasing physical activity might be an important strategy for easing the global burden of premature deaths and CVD.