Study confirms dangers of working longer hours

Working more than 11 hours a day rather than 9am to 5pm markedly increases heart disease risk, according to medical research.

The study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine was conducted by a team based at University College London that tracked the health of more than 7,000 civil service employees aged between 39 and 62 since 1985. Over the course of the study, 192 of the participants suffered a heart attack. People who worked 11 hours or more a day were 67% more likely to have a heart attack than those who worked shorter hours.

The researchers concluded that if GPs were to add working hours to their usual list of heart questions they might spot 6,000 more of the 125,000 people who suffer heart attacks in the UK each year.

Professor Mika Kivimaki, who led the research, said: “This new information should help improve decisions regarding medication for heart disease. It could also be a wake-up call for people who overwork themselves, especially if they already have other risk factors.”

XpertHR provides a model policy on voluntary increased working hours.

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