Staff who struggle from their sick bed to the office could be pushing themselves towards an early grave, new research has claimed.
A 10-year study of 10,000 Whitehall workers, conducted by University College London has revealed that even working with a common cold can put undue strain on the heart.
The research team said that in many cases the culture of ‘presenteeism’ could lead to the onset of coronary heart disease.
Professor Sir Michael Marmot, the head of the study, said: “Among 30 to 40 per cent of the population, we have found that those who were unwell but took no absence at all from work had double the incidence of coronary heart disease over the following years.”
Scientists compared attendance rates with the health records of civil servants and found 40 per cent of those who did not take time off when ill had double the incidences of coronary disease.
The findings may herald calls for employers to encourage sick workers to stay at home.