Working extra office hours can lead to heart disease

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Working extra office hours can lead to heart disease

12th May 2010

New research has shown that people who regularly work longer days increase their risk of developing heart disease by nearly two-thirds.

The study of 6,000 British civil servants published by the European Heart Journal concluded that even after accounting for known heart risk factors such as smoking, those who worked three to four hours of overtime a day ran a 60% higher risk of developing heart disease.

Bridget Collier, a specialist in occupational injury and illness with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said the research highlighted the importance of work-life balance. "These are busy times we live in, and it is not uncommon for many people to regularly work 10 or 11 hour days," she said.

"Although clearly this is just one study, the results appear to demonstrate that we as a nation need to make sure we rest and play as hard as we work," she said.

The research, which was published online, included 369 cases where people suffered heart disease that caused death, had a heart attack or developed angina. In many cases, there appeared to be a strong link to the number of hours spent working overtime.

"The researchers said there could be a number of explanations for this, such as those people who spend more time at work having less time to exercise, relax and unwind," said Bridget, a partner with the firm. "They are also more likely to have higher levels of stress, anxiety, or have depression.

"Although by no means conclusive, this study at least raises questions about how our working lives can influence our risk of heart disease," she said."

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of occupational illness and industrial disease.

Source - BBC News