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Long working hours linked to high BP
Workers who work more than 51 hours at the office each week are 29 % more likely to have high blood pressure than those who worked 39 hours or less.
Nearly all past research linking long work hours and high blood pressure has been done among Asian workers. Interest in the topic began in Japan where a notoriously high-pressure work culture has given rise to a phenomenon known as Karoshi, or sudden death from-overwork.
To investigate whether more time on the job could drive up hypertension risk, researchers from the University of California, USA, looked at a representative sample of 24,305 adults who worked 11 hours or more each week. The likelihood of having high blood pressure rose steadily with the number of hours worked, it was found, and persisted even after adjusting for factors such as socioeconomic status and body weight.
Those who worked 40 hours per week were 14% more likely to have high blood pressure than people who worked 39 hours or less. Hypertension risk was 17% greater in those working 41 to 50 hours weekly, and 29% higher in those working 51 hours or more.
The researchers also found that hypertension was more common among clerical and unskilled workers than among professionals. This suggests that occupations requiring more challenging and mentally active work may have a protective effect against hypertension.
Journal of the American Heart Association
For Blood Pressure:
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