Longer Work Hours Linked to Higher Cardiovascular Risk

A new study says the risk increased beyond 45 hours per week over the course of a decade or longer.

A recent study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine revealed that working long hours, meaning 46 hours or more, may increase the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease events such as heart attack.

"In general, we found that the risk of CVD increased as the average weekly working hours increased," wrote Sadie H. Conway, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, and colleagues. They note that among full-time workers, CVD risk appears lowest for those working between 40 and 45 hours per week.

The conclusion is based on research that studied the long-term relationship between cardiovascular disease and work hours for more than 1,900 participants. Over the course of the study, a CVD event occurred in 43 percent of participants.

The study says that the risk of a CVD event rose by 1 percent for each additional hour worked per week over at least 10 years.

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