Working long hours increases stroke risk, study finds

Henrietta Brewer
June 22, 2019

Researchers found that 29 percent (45,542) of participants worked long hours, and 10 percent (14,481) of participants worked long hours for at least 10 years.

Those who reported working 10 hours or more had a 29% greater risk of having a stroke in their lifetime, while those who did so for 10 years or more had a 45% greater chance of stroke.

According to a Harvard study, those who made it a point to disconnect from work experienced more work-life balance and were happier with their jobs.

A new French study as reported in the Independent finds people who work an average of just one 10-hour day a week see their risk of suffering a stroke rise by a third!

In addition to completing questionnaires, all participants also underwent medical interviews, during which investigators collected information on past stroke histories; body mass index (a standard measure of overweight/obesity); diabetes and high blood pressure status, and any family history of heart disease.

"The association between 10 years of long work hours and stroke seemed stronger for people under the age of 50", said study author Alexis Descatha, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at Paris Hospital, Versailles and Angers University and at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, but more research is necessary to fully explain this connection. Of the total 143,592 participants, 1,224 suffered strokes.

"I would also emphasize that many health care providers work much more than the definition of long working hours and may also be at higher risk of stroke".

People who work for more than 10 hours a day may have a significant risk of stroke, a study warns. "As a clinician, I will advise my patients to work more efficiently and plan to follow my own advice".

Previous research has found people who run their own businesses, CEOs and managers seem less affected by long hours - as opposed to those working irregular shifts and nights, or who have job-related stress. One meta-analysis of long work hours suggested a possible weak relationship with preterm birth.

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