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Over 55 Per Week, Look Out

Long Work Hours Boost Stroke Risk

A new mega-analysis of 17 different studies involving nearly 530,000 men and women tracked for an average 7.2 years has concluded that people who work 55 hours per week or more are 33 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than those who work a more standard 35 to 40 hours per week. The risk of coronary heart disease also rises, by 13 percent. The analysis, conducted by epidemiologists at University College London and published recently in The Lancet, found the increased stroke risk even when controlling for smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and amount of physical activity. Regardless of sex, age or economic status, the risk of stroke rose along with the number of excess hours worked. Almost 40 percent of full-time US workers report putting in at least 50 hours a week.

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