Working long hours increases stroke risk, study finds

working long hours stroke risk
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Working long hours on a regular basis can increase the risk of stroke, according to a study.

People who worked longer than 10 hours a day on 50 or more occasions per year were 29% more likely to have a stroke than those who did not, researchers from Angers University in France and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research discovered.

Risk of stroke also increased with the length of time staff worked long hours, with those doing so for a decade or longer having a 45% greater risk of stroke than those who worked shorter days.

Data from 143,592 adults was used to examine the relationship between hours worked and stroke risk. Just under a third worked long hours, while a tenth worked long hours for 10 years or more. At the end of the study period, 1,224 (0.8%) had had a stroke.

There was a heightened risk of stroke in white-collar workers under the age of 50. Dr Alexis Descatha, who led the research, said this was an unexpected finding that would need to be explored further.

Men and women were equally as likely to suffer a stroke if they worked long hours, the study, published in the American Heart Association’s Stroke journal, found.

Dr Richard Francis, head of research at the Stroke Association, said: “There are lots of simple things you can do to reduce the risk of a stroke, even if you work long hours.

“Eating a healthy diet, finding the time to exercise, stopping smoking and getting the recommended amount of sleep can make a big difference to your health.”

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