Workaholics are at higher stroke risk

Higher stroke risk – People working long hours are more likely to have a stroke later in life.

  • The study also revealed that those who work long hours may also be at increased risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD).

Scientists at University College London led the largest study on the issue, analyzing data of 17 studies from Europe, Australia and US. More than 500,000 men and women participated in the study and they were followed up for an average of 7.2 years. Researchers found that the individuals working 55 hours or more were at 33 % higher risk of having stroke.

They discovered that the risk of stroke rose in conjunction with the amount of hours worked. Individuals working between 41-48 hours a week had a 10 % increased stroke risk, while those who worked between 49-54 hours per week were at 27 % greater risk to have stroke.

The risk of coronary heart disease was also found to be much higher for overworked individuals. For coronary heart disease, the experts analyzed data from 25 studies involving 600,000 men and women who were followed up for an average of 8.5 years. Results revealed the risk of CHD was 13 % higher for individuals who worked 55 hours or more per week.

Mika Kivimaki, professor of epidemiology at UCL, said that the scale of study allowed the team to be more precise about the health toll of long hours than ever before. He suggested that doctors should take note of the possible risks to their hard-working patients. “Health professionals should be aware that long working hours is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, and perhaps also coronary disease,” he added.

Last year a survey revealed that the full-time employees were working an average of 47 hours per week in the United States. According to the US law, average weekly working hours are 40 that mean they worked almost an extra day in a standard Monday-Friday, 9-5 schedule. IMAGE/pakistantoday