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Extra work ‘raises heart disease risk’

5 April 2011

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The risk of heart disease can be raised by working extra hours in the office, a study has indicated.

Those who work an 11-hour day are 67% more likely to suffer from the condition than those who work a standard seven or eight hours, researchers at UCL (University College London) found.

GPs could find data on working hours useful when working out the risk to a patient, with other indicators such as blood pressure, diabetes and smoking habits, said researchers. The study, with its findings published in Annals of Internal Medicine, tracked 7,095 British civil servants aged 39 to 62 for 11 years.

Over the course of the study, 192 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.

Professor Mika Kivimaki, who led the research, said: “We have shown that working long days is associated with a remarkable increase in risk of heart disease. Considering that including a measurement of working hours in a GP interview is so simple and useful, our research presents a strong case that it should become standard practice.

“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.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Annals of Internal Medicine

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“Does this include GPs who routinely work 12 hours a day? Do these people ever ask GPs what they do in consultation as opposed to what patients think they do? This is noddys guide and very insulting to GPs” – Name and address withheld