Those who works 55 hours or more per week, faces a considerably larger risk of heart problems. This is shown by a new study, published in The Lancet, which studied data of 25 studies.
The studies contain data about the health of more than 600,000 men and women from Europe, the United States and Australia, collected during 8.5 years. By studying all of this data, researchers from the University College in London and the university of Helsinki could research the correlation between the number of working hours and the risk of cardiovascular disease with greater precision.
In these times, now that the pressure at work keeps increasing, their findings can be called disturbing. Those who work more than 55 hours per week, turn out to face 33 per cent more risk of a stroke than people with a normal work week (35 to 40 hours). And the more hours someone works, the greater the risk.
Long work days are also linked to an increased risk (+13 per cent) of developing coronary heart problems. These are caused by an insufficient blood supply to the heart, for example because the arteries are narrowed or clogged.
The relation between long work days and the risk of a stroke does not necessarily mean that working a lot is the immediate cause. However, long working hours also lead to other risk factors, such as stress, physical inactivity and an increased alcohol consumption. These can possibly lead to the proposed relation.
According to the researchers, their study should lead to an increased alertness to risk factors in hard workers. Their study is not the first one to link long work days to negative effects on health. An international study in 2005 already showed that working more than 49 hours per week, especially for women in higher positions, could lead to a worse mental health.