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Working late into the night may lead to an early grave

A study has found that working 55 hours or more a week can increase the chances of suffering a stroke by a third

Do you find If so, you might want to reconsider your career choices because working late into the night can lead to an early grave. Working long hours has been linked to a higher risk of suffering from a stroke or heart disease.

An analysis of 17 previously published studies on nearly 530,000 men and women who were followed for an average period of 7.2 years found they were 33 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke if they worked 55 hours or more compared with people who worked 40 hours or less per week.

Importantly, the longer people work each week, the greater the risk. Those who work between 41 and 48 hours have a 10 higher risk of stroke and those working 49 to 54 hours having a 27 per cent increased risk.

The researchers also found a significant but smaller increase in the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Those who worked longer hours were 13 per cent more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease compared to the normal working week.

The links still existed even when individual differences in factors such as smoking, drinking and physical activity were taken into account.

Writing about the results, the researchers concluded, “Employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours; the association with coronary heart disease is weaker. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the management of vascular risk factors in individuals who work long hours.”

The findings did not vary between men and women or between geographical regions and did not depend on the method of diagnosing strokes, which together suggest that the findings are “robust”, the researchers said.