Long hours at work increases risk of heart attacks

People who regularly work 10- to 12-hour days increase their risk of a heart attack by two-thirds, research has found.

The findings, published in the European Heart Journal, also showed those who work three to four hours’ overtime a day run a 60% higher risk of heart attack.

According to researchers, the increased risk may be caused by workers having less time to rest and relax. Or it may be due to the greater stress associated with working longer hours. Employees who regularly work overtime are also less likely to take time off, even when ill, the BBC has reported.

Dr John Challenor, of the Society of Occupational Medicine, said: “In many ways, it confirms what we as occupational health doctors already know – that work-life balance plays a vital role in wellbeing. Employers and patients need to be aware of all the risk factors for coronary heart disease and should consider overtime as one factor that may lead to a number of medical conditions.”

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