Long Work Hours May Adversely Affect Heart Health

People who work three or four hours' overtime per day have increased risk of coronary heart disease
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Working overtime could be bad for heart health, as it is associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), according to research published online May 11 in the European Heart Journal.

Marianna Virtanen, Ph.D., of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, and colleagues followed 6,014 British civil servants aged 39 to 61 who, at baseline, worked full time and were free of CHD for an average of 11 years.

The researchers found that, compared to employees who did not work overtime, the 617 subjects (10 percent) who worked three to four hours of overtime per day had a 1.6-fold increased risk for heart-related problems such as death due to heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks, and angina. This estimate was little changed by adjusting for 21 cardiovascular risk factors.

"Overtime work is related to increased risk of incident CHD independently of conventional risk factors. These findings suggest that overtime work adversely affects coronary health," the authors conclude.

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