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Stroke Risk is Higher When Working For Long Hours

Working too much can kill you by consuming your heart. The findings of a new study published in medical journal The Lancet reveal that spending long hours at work increases the risk of developing heart disease and having a stroke.


Too much of anything (good or bad) is harmful to man – one of the general rules of life on Earth. The same goes for working. A new study suggests that staying at the office till late is harmful to health, exposing one to an increased risk of having a stroke.

The researchers gathered data from 25 studies, involving over 600,000 participants from Europe, the US and Australia. The latter were followed for around 8.5 years.

The study says that working an extra hour is associated with a 10 % spike in the risk of having a stroke over the following 8.5 years. Furthermore, those working for longer periods of time are more likely to develop heart disease.

The researchers interpreted the link between working more and the heightened risk as the result of the stress that, in turn, triggers biological changes in the body, eventually leading to diseases.

“Health professionals should be aware that working long hours is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, and perhaps also coronary heart disease,” said Mika Kivimäki, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London.

Given the results, the researchers, therefore, advised doctors to take special care in diagnosing for heart problems in those known to work for long stretches of time.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director, British Heart Foundation commented on the results:

“This research shows an association between long working hours and an increased risk of having a stroke and heart disease.

“It is plausible that there could be a causal relationship behind the link as sudden death following long working hours is often caused by stroke, due to long and repeated periods of stress, although that was not demonstrated in this study.

“This study highlights to doctors that they need to pay particular attention to cardiovascular risk factors when they advise people who work long hours.”


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