Long work hours linked to higher risk of stroke

Washington: Are you among those who clock in more than 10 hours at work? Take note! people who work long hours have an increased risk of stroke, especially if they work those hours for 10 years or more, finds a recent study.

The study published in the ‘Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association’ reviewed data from CONSTANCES, a French population-based study group started in 2012, for information on age (18-69), sex, smoking and work hours derived from questionnaires from 143,592 participants.

Cardiovascular risk factors and previous stroke occurrences were noted from separate medical interviews.

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The researchers found that overall 1,224 of the participants suffered strokes; 29 per cent or 42,542, reported working long hours; 10 per cent or 14,481, reported working long hours for 10 years or more; and participants working long hours had a 29 per cent greater risk of stroke, and those working long hours for 10 years or more had a 45 per cent greater risk of stroke.
Long work hours were defined as working more than 10 hours for at least 50 days per year. Part-time workers and those who suffered strokes before working long hours were excluded from the study.

“The association between 10 years of long work hours and stroke seemed stronger for people under the age of 50. This was unexpected. Further research is needed to explore this finding,” said Alexis Descatha, the author of the study.

“I would also emphasise that many healthcare providers work much more than the definition of long working hours and may also be at higher risk of stroke. As a clinician, I will advise my patients to work more efficiently and I plan to follow my own advice,” Descatha said.

Previous studies noted a smaller effect of long work hours among business owners, CEOs, farmers, professionals, and managers.

Researchers noted that it might be because those groups generally have greater decision latitude than other workers. In addition, other studies have suggested that irregular shifts, night work, and job strain may be responsible for unhealthy work conditions.


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