Working long hours increases risk of stroke

Too much work tired sleepy young woman sitting at her desk with books in front of laptop computer isolated grey wall office back

Working late at the office isn't just bad for your relationships. It could increase your risk of having a stroke. That's the finding of a new study from the University College London.

Researchers looked at the health and lifestyle of more than half a million people. They found that people who worked 40-48 hours a week were 10 per cent more likely to have had a stroke than those who worked the standard 9am-5pm (35-40 hours a week). People who worked up to 54 hours were 27 per cent more likely to have a stroke, and those working over 55 hours were 33 per cent more at risk.

Researcher Dr Mika Kivimaki said that his team were still in the "early stages" of understanding the link, but suggested that stress combined with sitting down for long periods of time were most likely to blame.

The fact that people who work long hours don't have enough time to prepare healthy meals or exercise could also be a factor.

Dr Kivimaki told the BBC News website: "People need to be extra careful that they still maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure their blood pressure does not increase."

The Stroke Association's Dr Shamim Quadir said: "Working long hours can involve sitting for long periods of time, experiencing stress and leads to less time available to look after yourself.

"We advise that you have regular blood pressure checks, if you're at all concerned about your stroke risk you should make an appointment with your GP or health professional."

The study was published in the Lancet medical journal.

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