Long work hours associated with increased risk of stroke

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Stroke Journal Report

DALLAS, June 20, 2019 — People who worked long hours had a higher risk of stroke, especially if they worked those hours for 10 years or more, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

Researchers reviewed data from CONSTANCES, a French population-based study group started in 2012, for information on age (18-69), sex, smoking and work hours derived from questionnaires from 143,592 participants. Cardiovascular risk factors and previous stroke occurrences were noted from separate medical interviews.

Researchers found:

  • overall 1,224 of the participants, suffered strokes;
  • 29% or 42,542, reported working long hours;
  • 10% or 14,481, reported working long hours for 10 years or more; and
  • participants working long hours had a 29% greater risk of stroke, and those working long hours for 10 years or more had a 45% greater risk of stroke.

Long work hours were defined as working more than 10 hours for at least 50 days per year. Part-time workers and those who suffered strokes before working long hours were excluded from the study.

“The association between 10 years of long work hours and stroke seemed stronger for people under the age of 50,” said study author Alexis Descatha, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at Paris Hospital, Versailles and Angers University and at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). “This was unexpected. Further research is needed to explore this finding.

“I would also emphasize that many healthcare providers work much more than the definition of long working hours and may also be at higher risk of stroke,” Descatha said. “As a clinician, I will advise my patients to work more efficiently and plan to follow my own advice.”

Previous studies noted a smaller effect of long work hours among business owners, CEOs, farmers, professionals and managers. Researchers noted that it might be because those groups generally have greater decision latitude than other workers. In addition, other studies have suggested that irregular shifts, night work and job strain may be responsible for unhealthy work conditions.

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Co-authors are Marc Fadel, M.D.; Grace Sembajwe, Sc.D.; Diana Gagliardi, M.D.; Fernando Pico, M.D., Ph.D.; Jian Li, M.D., Ph.D.; Anna Ozguler, M.D., Ph.D.; Johanes Siegrist, Ph.D.; Bradley Evanoff, M.D., M.P.H.; Michel Baer, M.D.; Akizumi Tsutsumi, M.D., D. Ms.; Sergio Iavicoli, M.D., Ph.D.; Annette Leclerc, Ph.D.; Yves Roquelaure, M.D., Ph.D.; and Alexis Descatha, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

No funding is reported by researchers.

Additional Resources:

  • Available multimedia is on right column of release link – https://newsroom.heart.org/news/long-work-hours-associated-with-increased-risk-of-stroke?preview=652666a0fdaaf9723b736a0f4406e2e6
  • After June 20, view the manuscript online.
  • Cardiovascular risk profile linked to profession in older workers
  • View this release in Spanish.
  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact
Karen Astle
[email protected]

Related Journal Article

https://newsroom.heart.org/news/long-work-hours-associated-with-increased-risk-of-stroke?preview=652666a0fdaaf9723b736a0f4406e2e6
http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025454

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