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Do you work long hours? That means you're at higher risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease…

by , 24 August 2015

Sure, burning the candle at both ends might impress your boss and help you climb the corporate ladder. But it's surely not worth sacrificing your heart health for, is it?

A new study published in The Lancet earlier this week found a strong connection between people who work 55 or more hours per week and heart disease.

The researchers found that people who work long hours have a 33% increased risk of stroke, and a 13% greater chance of developing coronary heart disease compared to those who work the standard 35 to 40 hour work week!

Keep reading to learn more about this interesting new finding.

New study finds a link between long work hours and heart problems

Researchers from University College London reviewed 42 studies of hundreds of thousands of men and women from Europe, the US and Australia for several years to reach these new findings.
Their results held even after controlling for demographic factors (like age, sex, socioeconomic status etc.) and health behaviours (like smoking, drinking, physical activity, etc.).

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Risks involved in working long hours

The researchers reported that working overtime in general, even if it’s not the 55 hour maximum the group studied, also affects health outcomes negatively. Working between 41 and 48 hours a week puts you at a 10% increased risk of stroke. Upping work hours to between 49 and 54 hours a week puts you at a 27% increased risk of stroke. Yikes!

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So what might the link be, exactly? The authors said they’re unsure, but they did note a few potential causes. For one, working long hours tends to correlate with risky health behaviours, like drinking more alcohol or sitting for hours at a time. Those behaviours, combined with the stress associated with working overtime, could be a perfect recipe for a stroke or cardiovascular strain.

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