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Playing video games could have real world health consequences, according to a recent case study.
Video games can be deadly.
An unidentified 31-year-old man developed a dangerous and potentially fatal condition after spending eight hours a day for four consecutive days playing video games, according to a case study published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports.
Doctors found that the man, who complained of pain and swelling in his left leg, had deep vein thrombosis as well as multiple blood clots.
Deep vein thrombosis often occurs when someone has been sitting or remains sedentary for extended periods of time. And, if a related blood clot travels to and blocks an artery in the lungs, the condition can lead to a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates that, if left untreated, about 30% of patients with pulmonary embolisms will die.
Experts told ABC News that other factors, such as smoking, having hormonal problems or taking birth control typically increase a person’s risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.
The 31-year-old gamer recovered, but the study authors said the link between the condition and marathon video game sessions needs to be examined further.
“Video gaming should be considered as part of the risk assessment of venous thromboembolism,” the study says. “Those at risk could be advised about regular leg exercises, adequate hydration and regular breaks.”
In 2011, a 20-year-old British man died from a pulmonary embolism after spending up to 12 hours a day playing video games, ABC News reported.
“Don’t stop your child from playing the games. They love doing it, it’s great for them,” the man’s father said at the time. “Just be aware. Enjoy it, but take a break.”