People working 55 hrs. or more per week have a 33 % greater risk of stroke. These are the findings of a new study published in the Lancet.
The Lancet is one of the most respected medical Journals in the world. The Study included over half a million individuals from Europe, the United States and Australia. It is the largest of its kind. The researchers from University College London reviewed 42 studies.
The link between long working hours and heart attack was known before. But the much higher risk for stroke was new and surprising to the researchers.
A link is not the cause
The findings of the researchers are describing a strong link. But there is a difference between a link and the cause. So far, we don’t know what really is causing the increased stroke risk. Some possible reasons why people working long hours are at higher risk of stroke:
• Physical inactivity: Working long hours in an office means most of the times sitting for long hours
• Stress: It’s possible that people working more than 55hrs. per week are suffering from stress at the workplace.
• Alcohol, Tabaco: Unfortunately people often try to cope with stress in the wrong way. They turn to alcohol or cigarettes. These are known risk factors for stroke
• Sleep, high blood pressure etc.
Further research is needed to explain the link between long working hours and stroke. However, we all should be aware of this link and evaluate our risk. Maybe the study is a good reason to stop working today a bit earlier and spend more time with the family or go to the gym…